Melissa Noyes


This thesis attempted to tie Self-Directed work teams (SDWT) to safety performance through research, employee surveys and statistical analysis. The ultimate focus of the thesis was to answer two related research questions. To answer the questions required a trip down a road that is not, at this time, traveled frequently by safety professionals or other management. It is not to say that managers throughout the world are unaware of SDWT, but because SDWT are not used in many companies, it was difficult to obtain information to fully attack the problem. However, the focus remained on answering the problem, and defining the contributions this thesis could have on companies looking for new ways to improve their safety programs. This thesis attempted to determine the impact SDWT have on employee motivation and employee behaviors. To obtain this question, sixty-two surveys were obtained from four companies; three that did not use SDWT, and one that does. The surveys were created by the thesis author, and relied on the two research questions, employee culture survey examples, and general safety performance measurements such as total recordable injuries and use of management systems such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18000. The conclusions from the surveys led to three major contributions, which attempt to impact how companies utilize teams and how to improve their safety programs with the long-term solution of SDWT.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Self-directed work teams; Industrial safety; Motivation (Psychology); Responsibility

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Environmental, Health and Safety Management (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Civil Engineering Technology Environmental Management and Safety (CAST)


Maureen Valentine

Advisor/Committee Member

Jennifer Schneider


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HD66 .N69 2006


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