3053.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 12:45 PM

Abstract #15494

Hospital safety climate and its relationship with safe work practices and workplace exposure incidents

Robyn RM Gershon, MHS, DrPH, Environmental Health Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Room 8503, Baltimore, MD 21205, 410-955-3046, rgershon@jhsph.edu

Employees’ safety climate perceptions have been linked to both accident rates as well as the adoption of safety practices in the industrial work setting. We recently conducted a study designed to evaluate the relationship between hospital employee perceptions on safety climate and 1) employee compliance with safe work practices and 2) incidents of exposure to blood and other body fluids. A 46-item safety climate questionnaire was tested on hospital-based health care workers (N=789) at risk for bloodborne pathogen exposure incidents. The safety climate scale factored into six separate 20-item subcontracts as follows: 1) senior management support for safety programs, 2) absence of workplace barriers to safe work practices, 3) cleanliness and orderliness of the work site, 4) minimal conflict and good communication among staff members, 5) frequent safety-related feedback/training by supervisors, and 6) availability of personal protective equipment and engineering controls. The first three of these dimensions were significantly related to compliance (p<.05). Senior management support for safety programs was found to be especially important to the success of bloodborne pathogen safety programs because, along with frequent safety-related feedback and training, it was also significantly related to workplace exposure incidents (p<.05). Hospitals can use this short safety climate scale to evaluate employees’ perceptions regarding their bloodborne pathogens management program, to target problem areas, and to guide the development of interventions to reduce exposure incidents.

Learning Objectives: 1)To understand how safety climate is related to safe work practices 2)To assess organizational commitment using a safety climate scale 3)To determine the role that safety climate assessment can have in their own safety programs

Keywords: Safety, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA