Changing attitudes and systems in safety management
- The Loughborough Safety Climate Assessment Toolkit improves safety across a range of sectors
The Loughborough Safety Climate Assessment Toolkit (LSCAT) has helped change attitudes and raise awareness of the employee impact of safety management across a variety of industry sectors.
Research in the assessment of workers’ attitudes to safety – known as safety climate – was conducted between 1996 and 2000, and led to the development of a dedicated analytical tool for assessing safety climate.
Evaluation of safety climate literature, combined with practical consideration of organisational issues, led to the development of a model that highlighted that the strength of employees' attitudes played a pivotal role in explaining levels of safety activity, confirming the importance of management commitment in organisations with well-developed safety cultures.
The research team went on to incorporate such models into the assessment of safety culture and climate in offshore environments. A set of measures was designed to assess the tangible outputs of an organisation’s safety culture – for example, how employees might perceive and describe the importance given to safety issues and how local arrangements might seem to reflect this.
This led to the development LSCAT. Initially created for the oil and gas industry, LSCAT provides an assessment technique that includes practical tools for assessing safety climate, with the overall aim of aiding the promotion of a positive safety culture in an organisational environment.
To find out more about LSCAT, please contact Professor Alistair Cheyne.
ATTITUDES TO SAFETY CLIMATE CHANGED
LSCAT has raised awareness of the importance of assessing workers’ attitudes to safety. This has enabled such assessment to be included within a process of continuous improvement leading to culture change and the wider development of safety management systems.
GREATER AWARENESS OF EMPLOYEE SAFETY WITHIN THE NHS
LSCAT’s use by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has resulted in greater awareness of employee safety within the NHS. The tool was tested in a large acute services teaching trust and found to be easy to apply and well understood. After minor modifications is has been integrated within the RCN’s Quality Improvement Hub.
ENHANCED MANAGEMENT PRACTICE AND POLICIES
LSCAT’s use in industry has led not only to greater awareness but to enhanced management practice and policies. For example Tradeteam, a division of DHL Supply Chain, worked with the research team to benchmark safety climate and to relate the resulting perception measures to other safety performance metrics. Key insights included the importance of management and supervisor commitment in helping to mitigate incidents.
DHL SUPPLY CHAIN APPLIED TOOL ACROSS SUPPLY CHAIN OPERATIONS
The success of the Tradeteam assessment encouraged DHL Supply Chain to apply the tool across all of its supply chain operations in 2010. Once again carried out with the direct input of the research team, this exercise gathered more than 17,000 responses, representing nearly 40% of DHL Supply Chain’s employees in all business units.