Safety Climate Dimensions, Leader-Member Exchange, and Organizational Support as Predictors of Upward Safety Communication in a Sample of Rail Industry Workers
REPORT NUMBER: Safety Science, doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2010.01.016
SUBJECT: Human Factors
KEYWORDS: Safety Climate Dimensions, Leader-Member Exchange, and Organizational Support as Predictors of Upward Safety Communication in a Sample of Rail Industry Workers
The freedom employees feel to communicate safety concerns with their supervisors, termed upward safety communication, has been shown to be related to adverse safety events (Hofmann and Morgeson, 1999). Research to date has demonstrated that good supervisor-employee relationships (leader-member exchange), a sense that the organization values an employee (perceived organizational support) and safety climate (including perceived management attitudes toward safety, job demands interfering with safety, and pressure from coworkers to behave safely) all contribute to employees’ comfort in bringing up safety issues with their supervisors. However, little is known about which specific dimensions of safety climate are most predictive of upward safety communication. Using a sample of 548 railway workers, we found that when all factors were considered simultaneously using dominance analysis, the dominant factor predicting upward safety communication was perceived management attitudes toward safety, followed by job demands interfering with safety and then leader-member exchange. Implications for research and practice are discussed.