Safety climate and mindful safety practices in the oil and gas industry
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Introduction The existence of a positive association between safety climate and the safety behavior of sharp-end workers in high-risk organizations is supported by a considerable body of research. Previous research has primarily analyzed two components of safety behavior, namely safety compliance and safety participation. The present study extends previous research by looking into the relationship between safety climate and another component of safety behavior, namely mindful safety practices. Mindful safety practices are defined as the ability to be aware of critical factors in the environment and to act appropriately when dangers arise. Method Regression analysis was used to examine whether mindful safety practices are, like compliance and participation, promoted by a positive safety climate, in a questionnaire-based study of 5712 sharp-end workers in the oil and gas industry. Results The analysis revealed that a positive safety climate promotes mindful safety practices. Conclusions The regression model accounted for roughly 31% of the variance in mindful safety practices. The most important safety climate factor was safety leadership. Practical applications The findings clearly demonstrate that mindful safety practices are highly context-dependent, hence, manageable and susceptible to change. In order to improve safety climate in a direction which is favorable for mindful safety practices, the results demonstrate that it is important to give the fundamental features of safety climate high priority and in particular that of safety leadership.