Test of a safety culture model from a management perspective

André Job, Isabel Silva, Tânia Moreira


Purpose – The importance of developing theoretical models and their empirical validation, capable of explaining safety performance within organizations, has been pointed out by the scientific community. Fernández-Muñiz, Montes-Peón, and Vazquez-Ordáz (2007) proposed a model that integrates dimensions considered as determinants of safety culture to explain safety performance, which was tested with Occupational Health and Safety technicians of Spanish companies. This study aims to verify if that theoretical model obtains empirical support in the Portuguese context, considering the supervisors’ perspective. In addition, it also aims to contribute to the adaptation of the measurement instrument, which allowed for the empirical test of the model in the Portuguese context. Design/methodology/approach – The study conducted is quantitative with a cross-sectional study design. In total, 174 supervisors at different levels of supervision, in different Portuguese companies from different activity sectors, participated in the study. Data were gathered through the Portuguese version of the instrument developed by the authors of the model (Fernández-Muñiz et al., 2007). Findings – The results partially confirm the proposed model wherein supervisors play a determinant role in the development of safety culture and thus in the safety performance of organizations. Originality/value – This study addresses one of the demands present in the literature, having empirically tested a model that aims to explain the safety performance of organizations, expanding its application to the management perspective and to a different national context. The results emphasize the role supervisors may play in the development of safer organizations.


safety culture, occupational safety, safety performance, supervisors, theoretical model

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7819/rbgn.v22i2.4054

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