Approaches to assessing effective improvement of safety culture

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In this report we examined the effectiveness assessment of safety culture improvement from a systemic, multilevel perspective. Two complementary approaches were identified. A phenomenon-based approach viewed safety culture improvement from the perspective of cultural dimensions or manifestations, and how they interrelate with each other and with other sociotechnical elements of the organization. A process-based approach viewed safety culture improvement as an organizational function that involves a process dedicated to safety culture improvement, as well as specific activities that aim to improve safety culture.

Four practical tools were developed to illustrate the practical application of these two approaches. Two tools illustrated the phenomenon-based approach and aimed at modelling specific safety culture attributes—raising concerns, and procedure compliance. The other two tools illustrated the process-based approach and provided means to evaluate the maturity of the safety culture assessment process and effectiveness of safety culture training. Overall, these two approaches and the four practical tools along with the theoretical and empirical justification behind them serve as a starting point for developing a comprehensive toolbox for assessing the effectiveness of safety culture improvement.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages47
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2023
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Research Report


  • safety culture
  • leadership
  • effectiveness assessment


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