Safety Management in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Chapter uri icon


  • 2018 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. 94This chapter reviews safety climate in organizations, particularly small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). Regardless of organizational size, the concepts relevant to understanding safety climate remain the same. However, the way that safety climate develops, is managed and is affected by unsafe incidents may differ depending on organizational size. This is important, because since the inception of the research field 30 years ago (Zohar, 1980, 2010), the majority of safety climate research has been conducted in and on large organizations. Nevertheless, there is an extensive body of literature from which to draw lessons learned about safety climate and apply to SMEs. Thus, in this chapter we review important concepts like organizational culture, organizational climate, safety culture and safety climate to set the context for how to understand and interpret safety climate and its effect on employee behaviour. Then, we review theory and evidence on the development of organizational climate, antecedents and consequences of safety climate, and research examining safety climate in SMEs. Finally, we describe how to assess safety climate and workplace safety interventions designed to improve safety climate. Our goals with this chapter are both to inform practitioners and researchers in environment, health and safety management about the state-of-the-science in safety climate and to encourage additional research on safety climate in SMEs, so that these important and common enterprises are a larger part of the conversation about safety and safety climate.

author list (cited authors)

  • Payne, S. C., Bergman, M. E., Keiser, N. L., & Xu, X.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Payne, SC||Bergman, ME||Keiser, NL||Xu, X

editor list (cited editors)

  • Boustras, G., & Guldenmund, F. W.

Book Title

  • Safety Management in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

publication date

  • January 2017