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

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Climate
Hazards
Industry
climate
Safety
industry
Wounds and Injuries
Linear Models
Risk Adjustment
Workers' Compensation
workplace
Linear regression
Workplace
employee
worker
regression
Personnel
Testing

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Safety Research
  • Law
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Chemical Health and Safety

Cite this

The relationship between safety climate and injury rates across industries : The need to adjust for injury hazards. / Smith, Gordon S.; Huang, Yueng-hsiang; Ho, Michael; Chen, Peter Y.

In: Accident Analysis and Prevention, Vol. 38, No. 3, 01.05.2006, p. 556-562.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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