Sønderstrup-Andersen, Hans H. K.3; Carlsen, Kathrine4; Kines, Pete4; Bjørner, Jakob B.4; Roepstorff, Christian4
1 The Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University2 Subject, Technology and Social Practice, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University3 Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University4 unknown
Recent studies provide evidence that high quality management is a determinant for a positive safety climate, but the majority of these studies are predominantly based on small samples from individual industries. The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize the association between transactional and transformational leadership and safety climate, and to explore how safety climate is affected by a number of socio-demographic factors and within different industries and company sizes. The analyses are based on data from a recent Danish work environment cross-sectional study including 3681 employees from a wide range of industries and who report that safety climate is relevant for their job. We use two safety climate items, (one regarding management safety empowerment; one regarding co-workers’ safety priority), one question about transactional leadership and two scales concerning transformational leadership. In addition, we consider the impact of age, gender, education, job type and seniority as well as company size and industrial sector on the rating of safety climate. Predictors of safety climate ratings are analysed by use of multiple regression analysis. Our results show that the leadership style measured by items related to transactional and transformational leadership have a significant positive association with management safety empowerment, whereas workers’ safety priority is only significantly associated with transformational leadership. Younger workers have significantly lower safety climate ratings, and low co-worker safety priority is associated with job type, education and in companies with less than ten employees. These results have important theoretical and practical implications for safety climate interventions and for planning and implementing management strategies that better support employees’ engagement in proactive work environment behaviours.