Episode Summary

In this episode, David and Drew dig into the potential link between psychology and workplace safety, specifically how personality tests could predict safety performance. They’ll review the research on the connection between personality traits and safety performance, examining how traits like extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness can influence work behaviors. The episode also explores the potential impact of institutional logic on the link between personality and safety performance, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of using personality tests as predictive tools.

Episode Notes

The paper reviewed in this episode is from the Journal of Applied Psychology entitled, “A meta-analysis of personality and workplace safety: Addressing unanswered questions” by Beus, J. M., Dhanani, L. Y., & McCord, M. A. (2015).

Discussion Points:

  • Overview of the intersection between psychology and workplace safety
  • How personality tests may predict safety performance
  • Accident proneness theory to modern behaviorism
  • Research on personality and safety performance
  • Personality traits influencing work behaviors
  • The influence of institutional logic
  • Personality tests for safety performance
  • The need for further research and standardized measurement methods
  • Examining statistical evidence linking personality to safety performance
  • Personality traits and their impact on work behavior
  • Analysis of research findings on personality and safety performance
  • The practical implications of the research findings
  • The intriguing yet complex relationship between personality and safety


  • While not total bunk, we definitely don’t understand the impact of personality on safety nearly enough to use it as a tool to predict who will or won’t make a safe employee
  • There are lots of different ways that we could use personality to get some insights and to make some contributions
  • We need people using those measurements to find out more about the relationship between personality and behavior in different situations in different contexts with different choices under different organizational influences.
  • The answer to our episode’s question – Maybe. It depends. Sometimes, in some places not yet. I don’t want to say no, but it’s not yes yet either.


Link to the Paper 

The Safety of Work Podcast

The Safety of Work on LinkedIn