Assessment of Safety Climate Among Employees of an Industrial Poultry Slaughterhouse

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Environmental Planning, Management and Education, School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Safety climate, which is defined as employees' perception of the organization's policies and practices regarding safety has focused on safety in organizational knowledge. Over the past few decades, much research has been done on defining, conceptualizing and exploiting the safety climate. Studies have consistently shown that safe places are those that have a positive safety climate. Safety climate is known as a major indicator of safety efficiency and a predictor of occupational accidents, and the evaluation and determination of the factors affecting it, can play a decisive role in effectively reducing the occurrence of accidents. Therefore, a valid and reliable assessment of the organization's safety climate is of great importance. Despite the great importance of safety climate in organizations and many researches which have been done in different countries, but no study has been done on the assessment of safety climate in slaughterhouses. Given that slaughterhouses are among the occupations that are dangerous in nature, in this study, safety climate and the factors affecting it in an industrial poultry slaughterhouse have been investigated.
Material & Methods
The statistical population of the research included 482 employees of a poultry slaughterhouse. A researcher-made safety climate questionnaire was used, which is a combination of Vinodkumar and Nordic questionnaires with the focus on Vinodkumar questionnaire. The initial questionnaire contained 50 questions. To evaluate the validity of the questions, a panel of safety experts and the method of Lawshe were used and the questions that were vague and unfamiliar were removed. Thus, a questionnaire with 39 questions was obtained and Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to evaluate the reliability of the questionnaire and 37 questions obtained an acceptable score (α = 0.9). As a result, the final questionnaire including 37 questions and 7 dimensions was designed on a five-point Likert scale. If the mean of the given answers is equal to or more than 3, its condition is estimated to be favorable. The first part deals with the demographic information of individuals and the second part measures the dimensions of safety climate. In this research, 214 people were randomly selected from 482 personnel using the Cochran's formula. After selecting the sample, each of the employees was given the necessary explanations about how to fill in the prepared questionnaire, the reason for conducting the research, the guarantee of their confidentiality, and the questionnaires were provided to them for completion. After one month, all completed questionnaires were collected. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze statistical data and examine the questions.

Discussion of Results
Among the measured factors, the employees 'attitude variable had the highest mean score of 4.57± 0.47 followed by the employees' participation and commitment in the field of safety with the mean score of 4.47. ± 0.59, respectively. The knowledge variable with the mean score of 4.42 ±0.53 and the variable of commitment and management performance regarding safety with the mean score of 4.30 ± 0.61 at the highest levels compared to other factors and above the mean Likert scale (3) and they are at a good level. The workplace safety variable with the mean score of 3.03 ± 0.78 has the lowest score, followed by the risk justification variable with the mean score of 3.44 ±1 and the emergency preparedness variable with the mean score of 3.73± 0.93, respectively are at the lowest levels compared to other variables and of course above the mean Likert spectrum. Therefore, it can be concluded that employees have a good attitude, participation and knowledge in the field of safety, but feel that their work environment is not very safe, sometimes due to familiarity with work, ignore safety and are not sufficiently prepared in emergencies. The total mean of safety climate of the study population is 3.82± 0.83. Since It is higher than mean of the Likert spectrum (3), safety climate of the studied organization is positive.
The results of Friedman test show that mean scores of safety climate are significantly different. Mean score of the variable of employees' attitude towards safety with mean of 5.40 is the most important in the safety climate and then the variable of employee s' participation and commitment with a mean score of 5.10 is in the second place. Employees' safety knowledge and management commitment and performance regarding safety have a close mean that is 4.92 and 4.63, respectively. In addition, workplace safety variable with mean score of 1.89 has the least impact on safety climate, followed by risk justification variables with a mean score of 2.73 and emergency preparedness with a mean score of 3.32.
Safety attitude is one of the most prominent factors influencing safety climate and has been extensively studied by other researchers such as Diaz-Kabrera et al, so our findings are consistent with their results. As Griffin et al have shown safety climate influences employees' participation and it helps to create a safe work environment. Therefor it matches with our findings. Safety knowledge is also one of the dimensions that some researchers have emphasized its importance on safe performance. The results of a study conducted by Fernández-Muñiz showed that management commitment to safety is an important dimension in the success of safety programs and has a significant impact on behaviors. Workplace safety variable with the lowest score indicates that more efforts should be made to increase the score in this dimension because personnel feel the slaughterhouse is weak in terms of providing security and a safe work environment. So to improve workplace safety, basic planning should be considered, and as much as possible safe equipment and working conditions be provided so that employees can perform their duties safely.
The results of Phi and ANOVA analysis show that the only variable that has a significant relationship with the total mean of safety climate is workplace (p<0.05) and other demographic variables including age, education, accident history and work experience don’t have a significant relationship with safety climate (p> 0.05). These results indicate that different working conditions can be effective in understanding the safety climate of individuals. There was also a significant relationship between work experience with some dimensions of safety climate, which is consistent with the findings of some authors, such as Lane et al .This can be explained that by increasing the experience of individuals and holding safety training courses, their awareness of the safety of their work environment rises and as a result their knowledge of safety, participation and emergency preparedness grow, this in turn increases management's commitment to employee and workplace safety.
In general, it can be stated that total safety climate in the slaughterhouse is positive. Two components of employees’ attitudes and employee s’ participation towards safety have the greatest impact on the safety climate. Therefore, to strengthen employees’ participation, employees' attitudes and thus to improve safety performance, management commitment to safety need to be such that create a positive attitude in employees. The safety component of the workplace has the least impact on safety climate. Understanding the risk of accidents and not being safe in the workplace induces stress and reduces physical and mental capacity. Therefore, it is necessary to study the variables that can reduce the risk perception of employees and provide a safe workplace. Changing the management's attitude towards safety by prioritizing it over production in any situation and transmitting this attitude by setting safety regulations to its subordinate personnel can play an effective role in reducing accidents. The results of the study of the correlation showed that safety climate has no significant correlation with any of the demographic data other than job position and only work experience has a significant relationship with some dimensions of the safety climate and in general, it indicates that personal factors have very little impact on safety climate, and other factors such as organizational policies can play a more prominent role in safety climate.


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