Keywords: risk taking, safety climate, senior management, supervisors, work environment, training, modelling
The role of management and safety climate in preventing risk-taking at work
Safety climate is a leading performance indicator that can provide insight into safety performance before accidents have occurred. Managerial variables have emerged as a primary determinant of safety climate in empirical research. In order to investigate the mechanisms of that influence a theoretical model was developed to test the relationship between management commitment and worker risk-taking. Workforce perceptions of safety climate (n=1026) were collected using the Health and Safety Executive climate survey tool and analysed using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The tested model revealed that the relationship between management commitment and supervisor involvement with risk-taking behaviours was mediated by knowledge and training. Additionally, a positive attitude towards risk taking (i.e. not engaging in risk taking behaviours) was related to enhanced feelings of workers' responsibility for safety and more positive appraisals of senior management commitment. Managers may find the model useful when attempting to improve safety climate.