Organizational Safety Climate and Supervisor Safety Enforcement

Multilevel Explorations of the Causes of Accident Underreporting
According to national surveillance statistics, over 3 million employees are injured each year; yet, research indicates that these may be substantial underestimates of the true prevalence. The purpose of the current project was to empirically test the hypothesis that organizational safety climate and transactional supervisor safety leadership would predict the extent to which accidents go unreported by employees. Using hierarchical linear modeling and survey data collected from 1,238 employees in 33 organizations, employee-level supervisor safety enforcement behaviors (and to a less consistent extent, organizational-level safety climate) predicted employee accident underreporting. There was also a significant cross-level interaction, such that the effect of supervisor enforcement on underreporting was attenuated in organizations with a positive safety climate. These results may benefit human resources and safety professionals by pinpointing methods of increasing the accuracy of accident reporting, reducing actual safety incidents, and reducing the costs to individuals and organizations that result from underreporting.

Source: Probst TM. J. Appl. Psychol. 2015.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0039195

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