Safety Culture

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Safety Science 36 (2000) 111±136

Towards a model of safety culture

M.D. Cooper Ph.D. *

Applied Behavioural Sciences Ltd., Chartered Psychologists, 1060 Holderness Road, Hull, East Yorkshire HU9 4AH, UK

Abstract Organisational culture is a concept often used to describe shared corporate values that a€ect and in¯uence members' attitudes and behaviours. Safety culture is a sub-facet of organisational culture, which is thought to a€ect members' attitudes and behaviour in relation to an organisation's ongoing health and safety performance. However, the myriad of de®nitions of `organisational culture' and `safety culture' that abound in both the management and safety literature suggests that the concept of business-speci®c cultures is not clear-cut. Placing such `culture' constructs into a goal-setting paradigm appears to provide greater clarity than has hitherto been the case. Moreover, as yet there is no universally accepted model with which to formulate testable hypotheses that take into account antecedents, behaviour(s) and consequence(s). A reciprocal model of safety culture drawn from Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1986. Social Foundation of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cli€s, NJ.) is o€ered so as to provide both a theoretical and practical framework with which to measure and analyse safety culture. Implications for future research to establish the model's utility and validity are addressed. # 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Organisational culture; Safety culture; Goal-setting; Reciprocal determinism; Triangulation; Safety climate; Safety behaviour; Safety management systems; Levels of measurement; Levels of analysis

1. Introduction Many industries around the world are showing an increasing interest in the concept of `safety culture' as a means of reducing the potential for large-scale disasters, and accidents associated with routine tasks. Publicly...