Employees in many industrial contexts are constantly faced with hazardous situations. Safety programs are implemented to reduce risks for workers by removing hazards where possible and where it is not, by encouraging workers to use safe practices. As a safety program can only be as effective as the individuals who use it, accident prevention programs must attempt to identify the reasons that employees use unsafe behaviour (Peters, 1991).
The individual’s perception of risk is the critical antecedent to risk taking behaviour (Glendon & McKenna, 1995). The individual must first identify and evaluate risks before making the decision to accept those risks or to attempt to minimise them. This study explores the factors which influence individual perceptions of risk by modelling what cues are used and how they are weighted and combined to judge amount of risk