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A real time approach to measuring corporate safety climate

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNConference contribution/Paper

Published
Publication date2/06/2014
Host publicationCIB W099 International Conference: Achieving Sustainable Construction Health and Safety
EditorsRadhlinah Aulin, Åsa Ek
Place of PublicationLund, Sweden
Pages26-37
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

With potentially billions of dollars at stake as the price of poor HSE Performance,
companies can no longer afford not to understand their underlying safety climate. If the shortcomings of current safety climate surveys render their use inappropriate, then a different approach to understanding corporate safety climate is essential. Typically, safety climate is evaluated using questionnaires which are sent to a sample group within the organisation. Various analysis techniques are then used in an attempt to identify the prevalent safety climate. It has become increasingly apparent to a number of authors over the last few years that this approach is unlikely to provide the desired level of useful output. A variety of factors combine to render the results of a conventional safety climate survey doubtful at best and misleading at worst. Principally, these relate to Question Ordering, Culture, Language, Rating Scales, Bias and Sample Selection. Any or all of which have the potential to impact the validity of the survey questionnaire approach in determining an accurate overview of prevalent safety climate. This paper discusses an alternative approach to identifying safety climate on a continuous basis. While the technique was developed as a standalone module within a training tool designed around an operating oil company, it is equally applicable to any organisation operating in a high safety risk environment. By evaluating the impact of prevalent safety climate on accident causation, the approach produces indicators to safety climate deficiencies which management can address in order to improve overall safety climate.