Project: Safety culture, advice and performance

Peer reviewed and published

This project was submitted on 17/01/2014, published on 27/08/2009 by IOSH, and peer reviewed by IOSH

The prevention of work-related injury and illness is of crucial importance to employees, industry and wider society. Corporate safety culture, which describes shared values within an organisation which influence its members’ attitudes, values and beliefs in relation to safety, is now generally accepted as having a strong influence over workplace accidents and injuries. Occupational safety and health (OSH) practitioners or advisers also have a significant role to play in improving health and safety at work, yet little is known about their specific contribution to safety performance. The aim of this study, therefore, was to assess and compare the relative contributions of corporate safety culture and competent OSH advice to safety performance. The results showed that organisational safety culture was consistently and independently associated with corporate safety performance. In addition, the results showed independent associations between advice and corporate safety performance. However, these associations were not consistent in direction, suggesting a complex relationship, perhaps reflecting links with risk levels and industry sectors. A secondary aim of the research was to consider an association between employee perceptions of and attitudes towards safety and individual safety performance, health and wellbeing. Again independent associations were identified, suggesting that using measures of safety climate at an individual level to consider employees’ perceptions of workplace safety makes a significant contribution to understanding the profile of factors associated with employees’ health and safety. Overall, the study suggests that, while the nature of the relationship with advice requires clarification, both corporate safety culture and competent OSH advice make significant, independent contributions to corporate safety performance.

Human factors & behavioural safety, Occupational health & wellbeing, Training and education
Agriculture, Aviation and Aerospace, Chemical, Construction, Education, Engineering, Entertainment and Leisure, Environmental and Waste management, Finance, Fire, Food and Drink, Healthcare, Local Authorities, Manufacturing, Media, Nuclear, Offices, Offshore, Other, Public Sector, Quarrying / Mining, Railway, Retail, Telecommunications, Transport

Organisation: Cardiff University

Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology
63 Park Place,
CF10 3AS,
029 2087 4000

Principal Investigator: Prof Andy P Smith

Other Researchers: Dr Emma J K Wadsworth

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Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
The Grange, Highfield Drive, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1NN, UK

t +44 (0)116 257 3100

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