Where to focus? Insights from safety personnel and external safety consultants on lessons learned about safety climate interventions – A qualitative approach

Jin Lee, Yueng Hsiang Huang, Marvin J. Dainoff, Yimin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Safety climate is important for promoting workplace safety and health. However, there is a dearth of empirical research on the effective ways of planning, designing, and implementing safety climate interventions, especially regarding what is going to be changed and improved. To address this gap, the present study sought to extract a comprehensive pool of compiled suggestions for safety climate intervention based on qualitative interviews with professionals in occupational safety and health management from potentially hazardous industries. Method: A series of systematic semi-structured interviews, guided by a comprehensive sociotechnical systems framework, were conducted with company safety personnel (n = 26) and external safety consultants (n = 15) of 21 companies from various industries. The taxonomy of five work system components of the sociotechnical systems approach served as overarching themes, representing different areas of improvement in an organization for occupational safety and health promotion, with an aim of enhancing safety climate. Results: Of the 36 codes identified, seven codes were based on the theme of external environment work system, four were based on the theme of internal environment work system, five were based on the theme of organizational and managerial structure work system, 14 codes were based on the theme of personnel subsystem, and six were based on the theme of technical subsystem. Conclusions: Safety climate intervention strategies might be most commonly based upon the principles of human resource management (i.e., codes based on the personnel subsystem theme and organizational and managerial structure work system theme). Meanwhile, numerous attributes of external/internal environment work system and technical subsystem can be jointly improved to bolster safety climate in a holistic way. Practical Applications: More systematic and organized management of safety climate would be available when various interrelated codes pertinent to a given context are carefully considered for a safety climate intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-67
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Volume79
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Intervention
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Safety climate
  • Sociotechnical systems approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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