An assessment of the safety culture in a manufacturing plant

Van der Merwe, Jacobus Johannes (2015-04)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Manufacturing plants should strive towards achieving and maintaining good safety records. It is however difficult for plants to identify specific safety problem areas that can be improved on. One way to identify specific safety areas that needs improvement is by conducting a safety culture survey. A manufacturing plant within South Africa realised the need to improve on its safety performance. However, it was not clear which aspects of its work and safety related practices were at risk. Management therefore decided to obtain an assessment of the safety culture profile of the plant. The assessment was done by way of a plant-wide safety culture survey. The safety culture questionnaire was developed, as part of this research, through an in-house consultation process. This process resulted in identifying 16 different safety-related themes. With the help of literature, these themes were further explored to design the questionnaire. The identified safety themes were measured during the survey and results obtained for each of the plant’s identified safety practices. The survey also provided an overall mean score of the plant’s safety culture, providing management with a better understanding of where they stand in their safety improvement journey. The plant’s equipment, materials and tools; overall rules and regulations; environment, health and safety suggestions; rewards and reinforcement; and management involvement practices was identified as practices that require an immediate response. The plant’s incident reporting and investigation, discipline and training safety practices were identified as less urgent risks.

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