Safety Climate as an Indicator and Predictor of Safety Performance: A Case Study

  • Brandon Baertschi University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
  • Sang D Choi University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
  • Kwangseog Ahn University of Wisconsin at Whitewater


This study compared and objectively gauged the safety climate in the manufacturing facilities (high safety performing vs. low safety performing) to identify the most impactful areas to focus to reduce or prevent workplace injuries. In order to accomplish the study objective, we employed the Nordic Safety Climate Questionnaire (NOSACQ-50) consisted of 50 items across seven dimensions. A total of 116 operations employees in the paper laminate manufacturing completed the survey. The two sites were both within the United States and had structured the same operations. The results of the comparisons showed that there was a significant difference in the total scores for the sites. The high performance site had significantly higher NOSACQ-50 scores than the underperforming site in all dimensions. The high performing site had the greater safety climate scores in the area of “management safety priority & ability”. The underperforming site recorded comparatively lower scores in the areas of “management safety empowerment”, “group safety priority”, and “worker safety commitment”. We provided the recommendations of three focus areas: commitment, involvement, and accountability. The outcomes from this study could be useful to apply resources and focus to the appropriate areas in order to make safety improvements. In turn, improving safety climate can have positive impacts on increasing employee safety while improving the viability of the organization.

Author Biographies

Brandon Baertschi, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
Department of Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health
Sang D Choi, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Kwangseog Ahn, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater
Department of Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health


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