Safety climate from the safety experts: In their own words Conference Paper uri icon


  • Researchers define safety climate as shared employee perceptions of the policies, practices, and procedures concerning safety (Zohar, 2000) and have demonstrated how these perceptions relate to various safety-related outcomes (e.g., Barling, Loughlin, & Kelloway, 2002; Clarke, 2006; Hofmann & Stetzer 1996). In an effort to further understand the meaning of safety climate, we surveyed 62 safety experts about their experiences and asked them to respond to a series of questions in their own words. Some of the questions included: (a) How do you know when you are in a safe or unsafe work environment?; (b) What features or characteristics of a workplace (general observations about the workplace) indicate it is a safe or unsafe place to work?; (c) What do managers do to ensure a good safety climate is maintained (does not go away)?; (d) What do managers do that jeopardizes the safety climate?; (e) In what ways do contractors have a positive and/or negative influence on the safety climate of an organization?; and, (f) In a merger, acquisition, or divestiture, what are some effective and ineffective ways that you have observed organizations communicate their safety climate to the employees? We also asked them to share critical incidents involving how a company effectively or ineffectively dealt with a near miss as well managed safety climate across different locations, businesses, and/or nations. We summarize these responses and highlight consistencies and inconsistencies across respondents as well as in comparison to the research literature.

published proceedings

  • 9th Process Plant Safety Symposium, PPSS 2007, Held at the 2007 AIChE Spring National Meeting

author list (cited authors)

  • Payne, S. C., Bergman, M. E., Henning, J. B., & Stufft, C. J.

complete list of authors

  • Payne, SC||Bergman, ME||Henning, JB||Stufft, CJ

publication date

  • January 2007