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Human factors - Top ten - 7. Organisational culture (and development)

7. Organisational culture (and development)

The product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour, whether just for safety or the wider organisation, that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation’s safety management.

Safety culture is widely believed to be directly related to safety performance (i.e. the frequency and/or probability of accidents).

Introductory resources

Practical tools

Advanced resources

  • Safety culture and risk: the organisational causes of disasterHopkins, A., (2005), CCH Australia: Sydney) ISBN 1 921022 25 6.
  • Just culture: Balancing safety and accountability, Dekker, A. (2007), Ashgate Publishing, Aldershot, Hampshire, ISBN 0 7546 7267 8.
  • ACSNI study group on human factors, Third report: Organising for safety Health and Safety Commission, HSE Books (1993), ISBN 0 7176 0865 4 (
  • Controlling the controllable, Groeneweg, J., 4th edition, DSWO Press, Leiden University, the Netherlands (1998).
  • Managing the risks of organisational accidents, Reason, J.(1997), Ashgate, Aldershot.
  • Safety culture, International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group Safety Series No. 75-INSAG-4, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (1991).
  • Safety culture maturity model, HSE OTR 2000/049, HSE Books (2001), ISBN 0 7176 1919 2 (
  • Behaviour modification programmes: establishing best practice, HSE OTR 2000/048, HSE Books (2001), ISBN 0 7176 1920 6 (
  • Behaviour modification to improve safety: literature review, HSE OTR 2000/003, HSE Books, ISBN 0 7176 1893 5 (
  • Strategies to promote safe behaviour as part of a health and safety management system, HSE CRR430/2002 (2002), HSE Books, ISBN 0 7176 2352 1 (
  • Factoring the human into safety: Translating research into practice, Volume 1: Benchmarking human and organisational factors in offshore safety, HSE RR 059, HSE Books (2003), ISBN 0 7176 2694 6 (
  • Measuring the safety climate: Identifying the common features, Flin, R., Mearns, K., O'Connor, P., and Bryden, R. Safety Science, 34, 177-192 (2000).
  • Safety Culture: A review of the literature, Health and Safety Laboratory, Human Factors Group (2002), HSL/2002/25 (
  • Improving safety culture: A practical guideCooper, D.  (1997). John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0471958215.
  • Safety culture: Assessing and changing the behaviour of organisations, Taylor, J.B. (2010), Gower Applied Research, ISBN 978-1409401278.

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