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Keywords:

  • safety culture;
  • factor analysis;
  • risk perception

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop and initially evaluate a survey to assess the level of present safety culture within a petrochemical organization. On the basis of the modified International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety culture model, we identified eight global dimensions of safety culture: safety commitment and support, safety attitude and behavior, safety communication and involvement, safety training and competence, safety supervision and audit, safety management system and organization, accident investigation and emergency planning, and reward and benefits. The 73-item questionnaire, we developed, was distributed as a self-administered survey to 604 workers of five petrochemical companies and 533 surveys were returned with a high response rate of 88.2%. Statistical methods were used to analyze the collected data sets, including factor analysis, t-test, and one-way ANOVA analysis of variance. Data indicated an overall positive performance in relation to organizational safety culture dimensions. Results also showed that personal backgrounds, particularly for job position, work experience, and age, significantly affected perceptions on many safety culture dimensions. In addition, specific factors revealed areas in need of organization attention for improvement, namely, safety commitment and support, safety communication and involvement, and rewards and benefits, were provided to senior managers for their use in decision making on promoting the safety culture within the organization. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2008