Share This Article:

The Mediating Role of Workers’ Climate and Behavioral Perceptions on Safety Management System Performance

Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:570KB) PP. 84-97
DOI: 10.4236/ojsst.2014.42010    3,390 Downloads   4,902 Views   Citations


Based on survey results from over fifty groups of workers and their employees, it has been determined that worker perceptions related to safety climate, interactional justice, and task and team safety proficiency behaviors act as mediators between a system of safety management practices and reductions in recordable injuries and, to a lesser extent, lost time injuries. It appears that in those instances where workers view or believe that their management has placed a strong priority on safety, that they are being treated with dignity and respect through the system of safety management practices, that they are carrying out their own work safely, and that they are cooperating with others to work safely as a group, the system of safety management practices is more effective in producing measurable performance results. Certain human performance constructs (informational and procedural justice climates) do not appear to act as strong mediators. Thus, there appears to be some discrimination as to which human performance constructs actually act as mediators versus a situation where all worker climate and behavioral perceptions have the same or nondistinguishing effects. These results support previous conclusions that safety management practices should be designed and implemented to promote and enhance positive worker perceptions, thereby putting workers at the center of safety management systems which is a fundamental concept behind the human performance approach to safety management.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

K. Wachter, J. and L. Yorio, P. (2014) The Mediating Role of Workers’ Climate and Behavioral Perceptions on Safety Management System Performance. Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, 4, 84-97. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2014.42010.


[1] Wachter, J.K. and Yorio, P.L. (2013) A System of Safety Management Practices and Worker Engagement for Reducing and Preventing Accidents: An Empirical and Theoretical Investigation. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 68, 117-130.
[2] O’Toole, M. (2002) The Relationship between Employees’ Perceptions of Safety and Organizational Culture. Journal of Safety Research, 33, 231-243.
[3] Fernández-Muniz, B., Montes-Peón, J.M. and Vázquez-Ordás, C. (2007) Safety Culture: Analysis of the Causal Relationships between Its Key Dimensions. Journal of Safety Research, 38, 627-641.
[4] Rich, B.L., Lepine, J.A. and Crawford, E.R. (2010) Job Engagement: Antecedents and Effects on Job Performance. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 617-635.
[5] Ashforth, B.E. and Humphrey, R.H. (1995) Emotion in the Workplace: A Reappraisal. Human Relations, 48, 97-124.
[6] Pfeffer, J. (1998) The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First. Harvard Business School Press, Boston.
[7] Becker, B. and Huselid, M.A. (1998) High Performance Work Systems and Firm Performance: A Synthesis of Research and Managerial Implications. Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management, 16, 53-101.
[8] Delery, J. E. and Shaw, J. D. (2001) The Strategic Management of People in Work Organizations: Review, Synthesis, and Extension. In: Ferris, G.R., Ed., Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 20, JAI, Greenwich, 165-197.
[9] Huselid, M.A. (1995) The Impact of Human Resource Practices on Turnover, Productivity, and Corporate Financial Performance. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 645-672.
[10] Evans, W.R. and Davis, W.D. (2005) High-Performance Work Systems and Organizational Performance: The Mediating Role of Internal Social Structure. Journal of Management, 31, 758-775.
[11] Zacharatos, A., Barling, J. and Iverson, R.D. (2005) High-Performance Work Systems and Occupational Safety. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 77-93.
[12] Zohar, D. and Luria, G. (2005) A Multi-level Model of Safety Climate: Cross-level Relationships between Organization and Group-level Climates. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 616-628.
[13] Zohar, D. and Erev, I. (2007) On the Difficulty of Promoting Workers’ Safety Behavior: Overcoming the Underweighting of Routine Risks. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 7, 122-136.
[14] Zohar, D. and Tenne-Gazit, O. (2008) Transformation Leadership and Group Interaction as Climate Antecedents: A Social Network Analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 744-757.
[15] Hofman, D.A. and Stetzer, A. (2006) A Cross-level Investigation of Factors Influencing Unsafe Behaviors and Inci- dents. Personnel Psychology, 49, 307-339.
[16] De Cremer, D. and Tyler, T. R. (2005) Managing Group Behavior: The Interplay between Procedural Justice, Sense of Self, and Cooperation. In: Zanna, M., Ed., Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 37, Academic Press, New York, 151-218.
[17] Simons, T. and Roberson, Q. (2003) Why Managers Should Care about Fairness: The Effects of Aggregate Justice Perceptions on Organizational Outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 432-443.
[18] Colquitt, J.A., Conlon, D.E., Wesson, M.J., Porter, C.O. and Ng, K.Y. (2001) Justice at the Millennium: A Meta-Analytic Review of 25 Years of Organizational Justice Research. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 425-445.
[19] Bies, R.J. and Moag, J.F. (1986) Interactional Justice: Communication Criteria of Fairness. In: Lewicki, R.J., Sheppard, B.H. and Bazerman, M.H., Eds., Research on Negotiations in Organizations, 1, JAI Press, Greenwich, 43-55.
[20] Greenberg, J. (1993) Stealing in the Name of Justice: Informational and Interpersonal Moderators of Theft Reactions to Underpayment Inequity. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 54, 81-103.
[21] Tyler, T.R. and Blader, S.L. (2003) Can Businesses Effectively Regulate Employee Conduct? The Antecedents of Rule Following in Work Settings. Academy of Management Journal, 48, 1143-1158.
[22] Griffin, M. A. and Neal, A. (2000) Perceptions of Safety at Work: A Framework for Linking Safety Climate to Safety Performance, Knowledge, and Motivation. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3, 347-358.
[23] Griffin, M.A., Neal, A. and Parker, S.K. (2007) A New Model of Work Role Performance: Positive Behavior in Uncertain and Interdependent Contexts. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 327-347.
[24] Wright, P.M., Gardner, T.M., Moynihan, L.M. and Park, H.J. (2001) Measurement Error in Research on Human resources and Firm Performance: Additional Data and Suggestions for Future Research. Personnel Psychology, 54, 875-901.
[25] Yorio, P.L. and Wachter, J.K. (2014) Safety and Health Specific High Performance Work Practices and Occupational Injury and Illness Prevention: The Mediating Role of Task and Team Safety Proficiency Behaviors. Journal of Safety, Health, and Environmental Research, 10, 123-133.
[26] Neal, A. and Griffin, M.A. (2006) A Study of the Lagged Relationships among Safety Climate, Safety Motivation, Safety Behavior, and Accidents at the Individual and Group Levels. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 946-953.
[27] Folger, R. and Konovsky, M.A. (1989) Procedural Justice: Effects of Procedural and Distributive Justice on Reactions to Pay Raise Decisions. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 115-130.
[28] Moorman, R.H. (1991) Relationship between Organizational Justice and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: Do Fairness Perceptions Influence Employee Citizenship? Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 845-855.
[29] Tyler. T.R. and Lind, E.A. (1992) A Relational Model of Authority in Groups. In: Zanna, M., Ed., Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 25, Academic Press, New York, 192.
[30] Niehoff, B.P. and Moorman, R.H. (1993) Justice as a Mediator between Methods of Monitoring and Organizational Citizenship Behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 36, 527-556.
[31] Colquitt, J.A. (2001) On the Dimensionality of Organizational Justice: A Construct Validation of a Measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 425-445.
[32] Kozlowski, S.W.J. and Klein, K.J. (2000) A Multilevel Approach to Theory and Research in Organizations: Contextual, Temporal and Emergent Processes. In: Klein, K.J. and Kozlowski, S.W.J., Eds., Multilevel Theory and Methods in Organizations, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 3-91.
[33] Moreland, R.L and Levine, J.M. (1982) Socialization in Small Groups: Temporal Changes in Individual-Group Relations. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 15, 137-183.
[34] Festinger, L.A. (1957) A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Row Peterson, Evanston.
[35] Bliese, P.N. (2000) Within-group Agreement, Non-Independence, and Reliability: Implications for Data Aggregation and Analysis. In: Klein, K.J. and Kozlowski, S.W.J., Eds., Multilevel Theory and Methods in Organizations, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 43-55.
[36] Baron, R.M. and Kenny, D.A. (1986) The Moderator-Mediator Variable Distinction in Social Psychological Research: Conceptual, Strategic, and Statistical Consideration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182.
[37] Gyeke, S.A. (2005) Workers’ Perceptions of Workplace Safety and Job Satisfaction. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 11, 291-302.
[38] Wachter, J.K. and Yorio, P.L. (2013) Human Performance Tools: Engaging Workers as the Best Defense against Errors & Error Precursors. Professional Safety, 58, 54-64.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.