Supervisory interpretation of safety climate versus employee safety climate perception: Association with safety behavior and outcomes for lone workers

Yueng Hsiang Huang, Michelle M. Robertson, Jin Lee, Jenn Rineer, Lauren A. Murphy, Angela Garabet, Marvin J. Dainoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research has shown that safety climate predicts safety behavior and safety outcomes in a variety of settings. Prior studies have focused on traditional work environments in which employees and supervisors work in the same location and the mechanisms through which safety climate affects behavior are largely understood. However, the nascent research examining safety climate among lone workers suggests that safety climate may have some uniqueness in this context. Based on leadership theories and utilizing an exploratory approach, this study increases our understanding of the lone worker context by examining employee perception of safety climate and supervisory interpretation of safety climate; how similar or different they are, and how they are related to important safety outcomes. Surveys were administered to a matched sample of 1831 truck drivers and their 219 supervisors at four different trucking companies. Objective data on employee injuries were collected six months after survey administration. The results provided support for the measurement equivalence of the Trucking Safety Climate Scale at the organization level for both employee and supervisor respondents. For both organization- and group-level safety climate, employee perceptions of safety climate and supervisory interpretation of safety climate were significantly different, such that supervisors provided higher ratings for both safety climate sub-scales. Further, only employee safety climate perceptions significantly predicted self-reported safety behavior (directly) and objective injury outcomes (indirectly). This suggests that when trying to gauge and improve upon a trucking company's safety climate, we should rely on employee perspectives, rather than supervisory interpretation, of safety climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume26
Issue numberPB
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Safety climate
  • Supervisor versus employee perceptions
  • Trucking industry
  • Workplace accidents and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology

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