טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentLeibovich Alon
SubjectLet the Workers Talk!
The Role of Social Interactions in the Emergence
of Safety Climate in a Dangerous
Workplace
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Dov Zohar
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

In the current study we set out to validate a theoretical assumption which infers that safety climate is strengthened by symbolic social interactions between group members (e.g.: Zohar and Hofmann, 2012).
Additionally, we  wanted to study the role of other variables that might be involved in this relationship, such as safety leadership and safety norms, as there is little research pertaining the subject. Factor analysis yielded two factors for each variable: Safety Climate yielded the factors of Safety Climate Promotion (e.g.: Actively promoting safety improvement), and Safety Climate Prevention (Focusing on compliance).
Safety Leadership also yielded same manner factors: Safety Leadership Improvement (Behaviors that focus on learning) an Safety Leadership Compliance (As the leader is strict on rules and regulations).

Next, Safety Norms respectively yielded two factors: Safety Ownership (Looking out for things that are not within the groups' jurisdiction), and Safety Disownerhip (Not caring for anything beyond our own private selves in regard for safety).
Lastly- Social Interactions yielded one factor. Our research took place in a petro-chemical plant in north Israel.
A questionnaire was developed \ especially for this purpose. Final sample consisted of 263 workers, consisting 61 work teams. Results of the study show that Social Interactions has a significant main effect on the emergence of safety climate strength (Safety Climate Promotion: β=1.38 p=0.05 ; Prevention: β=1.61, p=0.03) .
Interactions effect shed light on the all of the effects the antecedents' have on the emergence of safety climate. As we see that in teams that were high on Safety Leadership Improvement and on Social Interactions had a significant impact on the emergence of Safety Climate Promotion, and Safety Climate Prevention. The same result recurs as we test Safety Leadership Compliance on Safety Climate when Social Interactions are high. This shows that Leadership is not a selective factor. Safety Norms, when Safety Ownership Norms are high and Social Interactions are high as well, we only see a significant effect on Safety Climate Promotion (Not Prevention), which makes sense, as they both are promotion factor by essence. Yet the surprising result is the recurrence of the same pattern with Safety Disownership Norms and its effect on the emergence of Safety Climate Promotion and not on Safety Climate Prevention. Finally, theoretical and practical impactions are discussed, so are the research limitations and strengths.