Safety Climate and Culture Review: A Case Study of Water and Power Project

Badr Almalki, Adel Zakaria, Mansour A. Balkhyour, Ijaz Ahmad


Systematic management of occupational safety and health (OSH) issues requires attention in many aspects like regulatory, technical, organizational and managerial. Approaching OSH from an organizational culture perspective can also facilitate achieving sustainable improvements in organizational OSH performance. OSH culture helps in seeing and organizing safety from different perspectives and should not be reduced to a matter of culture only. The knowledge, information and data gathered is expected to be very useful in the process of improving OSH-related procedures, practices and policies, eventually leading to enhanced OSH performance. This paper attempts to describe a cultural approach towards understanding organizational OSH. It will help the readers, professionals, authorities, and policy makers in understanding OSH from a cultural point of view, and how to assess this OSH culture as part of the of organizational improvement process. The aim is to disseminate latest information on this complex topic, trying to build a bridge between practice and research. The scientific literature shows these two terms, safety climate and safety culture, are often interchangeable, but they are distinct but related concepts. The word "safety culture" is a complex and persistent feature reflecting fundamental assumptions, expectations, norms and values, which are also represented by societal culture while "safety climate" best pronounces attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of employees classically measured by surveys and observations. Safety culture measurement requires detailed investigation of how members in an organization interact to form a shared view of safety. This paper explores the ideas of an organization’s safety climate and culture for the purpose of determining which is more advantageous for accurately describing a "state of safety”. Preliminary results of a case study from a water and power project from Saudi Arabia has been added. 

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Copyright (c) 2019 Badr Almalki, Adel Zakaria, Mansour A. Balkhyour, Ijaz Ahmad

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Journal of Safety Studies ISSN 2377-3219

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