Measuring Safety Culture Using an Integrative Approach: The Development of a Comprehensive Conceptual Framework and an Applied Safety Culture Assessment Instrument

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Abstract

An exponential amount of academic research has been dedicated to the safety culture concept, but still, no consensus has been reached on its definition and content. In general, safety culture research lacks an interdisciplinary approach. Furthermore, although the concept of safety culture is characterised by complexity and multifacetedness, the safety culture concept has been characterised by reductionism, where models and theories simplify the concept in order to better grasp it, leading to confined approaches. In this article, the multifacetedness of safety culture is acknowledged, and the topic is addressed from a safety science perspective, combining insights from multiple academic disciplines. An integrative and comprehensive conceptual framework to assess safety culture in organisations is developed, taking into account the limitations of existing models, as well as the needs of the work field. This conceptual framework is called the ‘Integrated Safety Culture Assessment’ (ISCA), where the ‘assessment’ refers to its practical usability. The practical rendition of ISCA can be used to map the safety culture of an organisation and to formulate recommendations in this regard, with the ultimate goal of bringing about a change towards a positive safety culture. The comprehensiveness of ISCA lies in the inclusion of technological factors, organisational or contextual factors and human factors interacting and interrelating with each other, and in considering both observable or objective safety-related aspects in an organisation, and non-observable or subjective safety-related aspects. When using ISCA, organisational safety culture is assessed in an integrative way by using a variety of research methods involving the entire organisation, and by taking into account the specific context of the organisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13602
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • safety culture
  • integrative approach
  • conceptual framework
  • assessment

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