Although it is very difficult to define and measure, strong workplace safety culture can have a huge impact on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS).
The research has produced a definition of workplace safety culture and climate with the first report concluding that safety culture is generally agreed to be a subset of organisational culture that is unconscious, invisible and characterised by shared underlying values and attitudes towards safety. Safety climate refers to the way in which that culture manifests in the everyday reality of a workplace.
Once the definition was agreed, the researchers then undertook a review of key theories and conceptual models related to the development of safety culture and safety climate measures paired with an examination of approaches to their measurement. This report helps to identify the factors that lead to good safety culture and climate in a workplace.
Concurrently, researchers reviewed the tools available for measuring safety culture and climate. This project established a set of evaluation criteria to measure reliability and validity in different settings and provides guidance on the applicability of these tools to measure safety culture and climate in different settings.
This study aimed to evaluate several established measures of safety climate in residential aged care and home and community care settings, and to examine the associations between safety climate, workplace social relations, employee safety voice, and occupational health and safety outcomes.
Overall, this research has contributed to a better understanding of workplace safety culture and safety climate from the regulators’ perspective. This final report offers a range of recommendations for WorkSafe Victoria, for knowledge translation and for future research.
This research is closely linked to the OHS Lead Indicators project.