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What people really think about safety around horses: The relationship between risk perception, values and safety behaviours
journal contributionposted on 2021-03-23, 23:28 authored by Meredith ChapmanMeredith Chapman, Matthew ThomasMatthew Thomas, K Thompson
The equestrian industry reports high rates of serious injuries, illness and fatalities when compared to other high-risk sports and work environments. To address these ongoing safety concerns, a greater understanding of the relationship between human risk perception, values and safety behaviours is required. This paper presents results from an international survey that explored relationships between a respondents’ willingness to take risk during daily activities along with, their perceptions of risk and behaviours during horse-related interactions. Respondents’ comments around risk management principles and safety-first inspirations were also analysed. We examined what humans think about hazardous situations or activities and how they managed risk with suitable controls. Analysis identified three important findings. First, safe behaviours around horses were associated with safety training (formal and/or informal). Second, unsafe behaviours around horses were associated with higher levels of equestrian experience as well as income from horse-related work. Finally, findings revealed a general acceptance of danger and imminent injury during horse interactions. This may explain why some respondents de-emphasised or ‘talked-down’ the importance of safety-first principles. In this paper we predominantly reported quantitative findings of respondents self-reported safety behaviours, general and horse-related risk perceptions despite injury or illness. We discussed the benefits of improved safety-first principles like training, risk assessments, rider-horse match with enriched safety communications to enhance risk-mitigation during human–horse interactions. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Number of Pages22
Publisher LicenseCC BY
Full Text URL
Additional RightsCC BY 4.0
External Author AffiliationsUniversity of South Australia
Author Research Institute
- Appleton Institute