Assessing safety culture and safety performance in a high hazard industry

Jones, Ceri (2014) Assessing safety culture and safety performance in a high hazard industry. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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In the UK 27 million working days are lost due to work-related illness or injury; at an estimate of £13.4 billion to the economy. Over the last 30 years researchers have examined safety culture and its relationship to poor safety performance. An organisation in the high hazard construction industry wanted to understand the factors that shaped and influenced safety performance and safety culture. This thesis details a research project which addresses that aim. A multi-method, triangulated approach was adopted combining both qualitative (focus groups and interviews) and quantitative (safety climate questionnaire) methods. The results of the qualitative studies informed the development of the safety climate questionnaire that included a measure of self-reported accidents and near misses.

The qualitative studies identified 6 main themes; Communication, Leadership, Employee Engagement & Involvement, Safety Prioritisation, Job Demands and Culture. Quantitative study results show, Upward Communication, Perceived Organisational Support (POS), Employee Engagement. Leader Member Exchange (LMX) and Organisational Commitment demonstrate a significant relationship with Safety Climate. Safety Climate, POS had a Significant, positive, predictive relationship with both accidents and near misses reported. Upward communication had a significant negative, predictive relationship with accidents and near misses. LMX and Organisational Commitment show a Significant, negative, predictive relationship with accidents reported only.

Results can be explained in the context of social exchange relationships. Reporting behaviour is being measured, this can be conceptualised as organisational safety citizenship behaviour. The probability of increasing or reducing reporting behaviours is shaped by social exchanges such as; a) the degree that employees feel supported by the organisation, b) and their manager, c) the safety climate, d) their commitment levels e) and opportunities to raise safety concerns. Interventions should aim to develop leaders and organisational practices to be more supportive, to increase reporting behaviour and to create a more accurate picture of safety performance.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cox, T.R.
Griffiths, A.J.
Keywords: Industrial safety, Safety climate, Perceived organizational support, Upward communication, Employee engagement, Leader member exchange, Reporting behavior
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WA Public health
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 30956
Depositing User: Blore, Mrs Kathryn
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 09:41
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 07:09

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