In this chapter, the contribution that psychological factors make to occupational accidents is considered, with a focus on safety climate. First, research evidence linking a negative safety climate to unsafe working environments is critically reviewed, and second, the dual mechanisms by which safety climate influences safety outcomes, namely health impairment and motivational pathways, are discussed. The importance of leadership, both constructive and destructive, is highlighted: constructive leadership emerges as critical to the creation and maintenance of a positive safety climate, which protects organizations against accidents and safety incidents. Future research and practical implications are discussed.
This chapter reviews typologies of safety culture, which reflect an organization’s core values and assumptions about safety, and related research on safety culture and safety climate. It integrates research on key aspects of an effective safety culture, including leadership, teamwork, employee participation, encouraging employees to speak up about safety, and the relationship between safety culture and safety climate. Ways of organizing and managing safety are discussed in the context of ensuring that organizations implement best practice interventions to reduce accidents and improve organizational safety performance.