Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 2000, Vol. 5, No. 3, 347-358

Copyright 2000 by the Educational Publishing Foundation 1076-8998/00/$5.00 DOI: 10.1037fl1076-8998.5.3.347

Perceptions of Safety at Work: A Framework for Linking Safety Climate to Safety Performance, Knowledge, and Motivation
Mark A. Griffin Queensland University of Technology Andrew Neal University of Queensland

Research in the areas of organizational climate and work performance was used to develop a framework for measuring perceptions of safety at work. The framework distinguished perceptions of the work environment from perceptions of performance related to safety. Two studies supported application of the framework to employee perceptions of safety in the workplace. Safety compliance and safety participation were distinguished as separate components of safetyrelated performance. Perceptions of knowledge about safety and motivation to perform safely influenced individual reports of safety performance and also mediated the link between safety climate and safety performance. Specific dimensions of safety climate were identified and constituted a higher order safety climate factor. The results support conceptualizing safety climate as an antecedent to safety performance in organizations.

The present study combines theories of individual performance (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993; Campbell, McCloy, Oppler, & Sager, 1993) with theories of organizational climate (L. A. James & James, 1989; L. R. James & Mclntyre, 1996) to develop a framework for investigating perceptions of safety in organizations. This framework provides a link between perceptions of the work environment and individual behavior within the work environment. We differentiate perceptions of the work environment, perceptions of individual behavior in the workplace, and mediational processes thought to underlie individual work performance. These distinctions are important because they allow systematic assessment of conceptually



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