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Quantifying the relationship between lean maturity and occupational health and safety: Antecedents and leading indicators

Seyed Sajad Mousavi (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Lombardia, Italy)
Reza Khani Jazani (Department of Ergonomics, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Elizabeth A. Cudney (Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missouri, USA)
Paolo Trucco (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Lombardia, Italy)

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma

ISSN: 2040-4166

Article publication date: 10 May 2019

Issue publication date: 14 January 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to quantify the multifaceted relationship between lean implementation and occupational health and safety (OHS) performance. Hypotheses based on a set of antecedents (mediating factors) are built and quantitatively tested.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through an international survey with responses from more than 20 countries. Partial least square-based structural equation modeling was used to test a theoretical framework derived from literature. Leading indicators (formative indices) were used to evaluate the four antecedents of OHS performance (mediating factors).

Findings

All the identified antecedents show a significant mediating role. Antecedents related to the working environment and organizational factors have the strongest mediating effect. Results support the importance of using OHS leading indicators to appropriately measure the impact of lean implementation on workers’ health and safety.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed OHS leading indicators connecting lean practices to OHS performance antecedents are only explored in this study. Therefore, to establish a comprehensive, validated and practically usable set of leading indicators, further research is needed.

Practical implications

As there are some synergistic and trade-off relationships between lean and safety, the findings of this study will enable managers and organizations to leverage the positive effects of lean implementation on workers’ health and safety and mitigate the negative effects.

Originality/value

Several prior studies investigated the multifaceted link between lean and OHS; however, this is the first study that tested direct and mediated influence by defining a coherent set of antecedents. The results justify and strongly support the adoption of OHS leading indicators to measure the impact of lean implementation on OHS performance.

Keywords

Citation

Mousavi, S.S., Khani Jazani, R., Cudney, E.A. and Trucco, P. (2020), "Quantifying the relationship between lean maturity and occupational health and safety: Antecedents and leading indicators", International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 150-170. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLSS-04-2018-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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