Beyond safety outcomes: An investigation of the impact of safety climate on job satisfaction, employee engagement and turnover using social exchange theory as the theoretical framework

Yueng Hsiang Huang, Jin Lee, Anna C. McFadden, Lauren A. Murphy, Michelle M. Robertson, Janelle H. Cheung, Dov Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Safety climate, a measure of the degree to which safety is perceived by employees to be a priority in their company, is often implicated as a key factor in the promotion of injury-reducing behavior and safe work environments. Using social exchange theory as a theoretical basis, this study hypothesized that safety climate would be related to employees' job satisfaction, engagement, and turnover rate, highlighting the beneficial effects of safety climate beyond typical safety outcomes. Survey data were collected from 6207 truck drivers from two U.S. trucking companies. The objective turnover rate was collected one year after the survey data collection. Results showed that employees' safety climate perceptions were linked to employees' level of job satisfaction, engagement, and objective turnover rate, thus supporting the application of social exchange theory. Job satisfaction was also a significant mediator between safety climate and the two human resource outcomes (i.e., employee engagement and turnover rate). This study is among the first to assess the impact of safety climate beyond safety outcomes among lone workers (using truck drivers as an exemplar).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Keywords

  • Employee engagement
  • Job satisfaction
  • Objective turnover rate
  • Safety climate
  • Social exchange theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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