Date of Award

Spring 2-16-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Carlos L. Rodriguez

Second Advisor

Keith Larick

Third Advisor

Donald B. Scott


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the impact of peer and supervisor influences of task risks associated with refinery workers’ use of PPE while working in an industrial environment. The study focused on the safety climate model to discover the perceived value workers placed on safety and Fishbein and Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior’s roadmap for understanding their use of PPE.

Methodology: This study used phenomenological qualitative methodology to collect responses from 16 petroleum refinery contractor workers from Los Angeles, California, regarding the influences peers, supervisors, and task risk have on their use of PPE. Respondents were selected through purposeful sampling. Semistructured interviews were conducted using an interview protocol based on Zohar’s safety climate model to capture their lived experiences.

Findings: Six major findings emerged from the data collection and analysis. Supervisors positively influenced refinery contractor workers’ use of PPE when they were present at the worksite and demonstrated concern for their safety. Peers support each other’s use of PPE by providing reminders when it is not used or exercising stop work authority for serious infractions of safety rules. Refinery task risk procedures such as Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) positively influenced refinery contractor workers’ use of PPE because of the potential for serious injury or disciplinary action for not using it.

Conclusions: The conclusions indicated that task risk to workers is decreased when supervisors provide direction at worksites and train their personnel on PPE use. Contractor workers, as a result of their shared hazardous workplace, expect that their peers will use PPE and will exercise stop work authority if they do not follow safety rules. Furthermore, refinery zero tolerance policies for violating safety rules improve worker commitment to use PPE.

Recommendations: Recommendations include the use of virtual tools to promote direct supervisor interaction when conducting JHA’s or safety meetings. It is also recommended that refineries and contractor companies develop training programs for supervisors to function as safety coaches along with recognition programs for workers to nominate their peers for positively influencing their use of PPE.