Assessing safety culture, values, practices, and outcomes

Chenhall, Everon Christina, author
Gilley, Jerry W., advisor
Waite, Alina M., advisor
Gloeckner, Gene William, 1950-, committee member
Chermack, Thomas J., committee member
Henle, Christine A., committee member
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The purpose of this study was to identify where safety performance improvements can be made, thus establishing a foundation for further study by the company to formulate specific recommendations within the identified areas. The data were analyzed to determine whether five organizational practices and values described herein were predictors of 2009 safety performance. Accordingly, this non-experimental comparative study examined differences in safety culture dimensions between plants that achieved and failed to achieve their 2009 safety goals. The Competing Values Framework (Quinn & Kimberly, 1984) was adapted to assess safety culture strengths and congruencies among plants as an extension of the work of Silva, Lima, and Baptista (Isla Díaz & Díaz Cabrera, 1997, p. 643; 2004, p. 643) and Díaz-Cabrera (2007). Additionally, the underlying values, leadership types, and culture orientations measured through the Questionnaire of Safety Culture Values and Practices were tested for the first time as predictors of accident data. Despite considerable research on safety climate and culture predictors of accidents in organizations (Clarke, 2006), "the practical significance of these factors in the prevention of accidents remains undetermined" (Isla Díaz & Díaz Cabrera, 1997, p.643). The researcher analyzed the combination of the difference and associational research questions. Exploration of the first research question involved analyzing the differences among the plants based on the results of the One-Way ANOVA for the five safety culture values and practices scores. Research question two was subdivided into three questions to clarify the three safety performance indicators (OSHA, LTA, and severity). The results of the independent t-tests compared the safety culture values and practices scores across the plants that achieved and failed to achieve 2009 safety goals for Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) incident rates, Lost Time Away (LTA), and severity. Additionally, the five safety culture values and practices scores were compared across geographic regions for research question three. Finally, regression was run to determine if a combination of the safety culture values and practices scores were predictive of 2009 OSHA, LTA, and severity rates. Research question five was subdivided into three questions regarding differences on the safety culture type. To answer the three research questions, t-tests were conducted to examine differences among the plants' three safety outcomes and the plants' averages for each of the four safety culture types. Neither safety culture type scores nor safety culture values and practices scores were predictors of 2009 OSHA, LTA, or severity rates. The t-test results indicated large effects on a) company values, b) communication, c) and usage of accident information between the four plants that did and did not achieve 2009 LTA and severity goals, despite non-significant results. Differences among the plants were noted and analyzed for trends.
Department Head: Carole J. Makela.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights Access
safety outcomes
Industrial safety
safety culture types
System safety
safety culture
Organizational behavior
organizational safety values
Corporate culture -- United States
organizational safety practices
competing values framework
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