The relationship between safety climate and injury rates across industries: The need to adjust for injury hazards

Gordon S. Smith, Yueng Hsiang Huang, Michael Ho, Peter Y. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that strong safety climates (shared perceptions of safe conducts at work) are associated with lower workplace-injury rates, but they rarely control for differences in industry hazards. Based on 33 companies, we assessed its association with injury rates using three rate based injury measures (claims per 100 employees, claims per 100,000 h worked, and claims per US$ 1 million payroll), which were derived from workers' compensation injury claims. Linear regression models were used to test the predictability of safety climate on injury rates, followed by controlling for differences in hazard across industries gauged by national industry-specific injury rates. In the unadjusted model, company level safety climate were negatively and significantly associated with injury rates. However, all of the above associations were no longer apparent when controlling for the hazardousness of the specific industry. These findings may be due to over adjustment of hazard risk, or the overwhelming effects of industry specific hazards relative to safety climate effects that could not be differentiated with the statistical power in our study. Industry differences in hazard, conceptualized as one type of injury risk, however need to be considered when testing the association between safety climate and injury across different industries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)556-562
Number of pages7
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2006


  • Employee safety control
  • Organizational factors
  • Safety climate
  • Safety management
  • Workers' compensation
  • Workplace injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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