Digging Deeper into the Shared Variance among Safety-related Climates: The Need for a General Safety Climate Measure

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Organizational climate, safety climate, violence prevention climate, civility climate, workplace accidents, workplace mistreatment

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We combined three independent streams of workplace climate research, safety, violence prevention, and civility, to devise a general safety climate scale that explicitly addressed a variety of risks. A confirmatory factor analysis suggested that a higher-order factor may be responsible for the similarity in relationships across these safety-related climate measures with exposure to organizational hazards and resulting employee outcomes. As a result, a concise 10-item measure was developed and validated to assess a possible general safety climate factor. Further analyses suggested that the use of a general safety climate measure did not attenuate the relationships with workplace hazards and employee outcomes. Although different safety-related climate variables may be theoretically distinct, there may not be a measurable benefit in promoting one form of climate over others. Future studies should consider employing the general safety climate measure in place of domain-specific climate measures, unless the domain-specific climate is solely of interest.

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International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, v. 24, issues 1-2, p. 38-46