The Sentis approach to Safety Culture Diagnosis and Measurement was roundly endorsed at the 31st Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOP) held in California in April 2016. Sentis’ paper outlining its approach to measuring the maturity of a company’s safety culture was selected as a top ten submission and awarded special presentation at the opening reception. Importantly, the Sentis paper won recognition over 1400 other submissions, through a rigorous blind peer-review process. The paper, entitled “Applying Industrial/Organisational Science and Methods to Diagnose Safety Culture Maturity,” received praise for Sentis’ rigorous methodology and associated diagnostic assessment process.
The overall consensus was that the Sentis’ approach is grounded in theory, while having significant practical applications and value to organisations.
Sentis’ innovative approach was well-received by peer reviewers. Comments included:
- “The Sentis model provides a blueprint for developing theory-based models and measurement methodology.”
- “The authors rigorously tease out and define key constructs, develop measures, and use multiple measures to validate their model.”
Sentis’ outstanding work in the safety space was also recognised at the conference by:
- The presentation of a study that was funded by a research grant to Sentis by the University of Colorado to study the topic of “transfer of safety training”, which seeks to increase participants’ use of skills acquired during safety training when they return to the workplace.
- An invitation from the SIOP conference Program Committee to Sentis’ Chief Scientist, Dr. Autumn Krauss, to co-present a seminar on “Integrating the Science of Employee Health, Wellbeing and Safety into I/O Psychology Practice.”
What is the Sentis Safety Culture Maturity Model?
Based on safety science and informed by Sentis’ practical industry experience, the Safety Culture Maturity Model describes the characteristics of safety culture at various stages of evolution (see figure below) and reveals possible levers for change.
How does the Model work?
The Sentis Safety Culture Maturity model describes how a safety culture develops so an organisation can better understand their own current culture and the type of culture to which they might aspire.
An innovative feature of the Sentis approach to developing the model was the integration of multiple organisational psychology theories and concepts, such as task and contextual job performance, maturity matrices, and organisational (and safety) citizenship behaviour. Best practice organisational psychology research methods and analytical techniques were also employed.
Sentis has applied key theories of safety performance to describe how safety culture ‘evolves’ and identify potential levers for change.
As the paper puts it: “Our key proposition here is that a particular safety culture drives employee safety behaviour in unique and measurable ways; namely, shared norms, beliefs, and attitudes among the group influence the way individuals think and behave about safety themselves. We propose that as the safety culture matures, the levels of safety performance improve.”
How can we use the Model?
To not only understand how a safety culture matures in theory from the model, but also diagnose the current maturity of a company’s own safety culture, Sentis provides the Onsite Safety Evaluation (OSE) — a qualitative safety culture measurement toolkit that includes multiple methods to gather and triangulate data to identify a company’s safety culture strengths, opportunities, and overall maturity.
The OSE has been validated and employed in companies across industries like mining, utilities and transport to provide valuable insights to organisations about their current safety culture and which factors should be targeted for intervention and improvement. Organisations can therefore be confident that the Sentis approach is practical and will help in the design and effective implementation of safety interventions.
Want to learn more about the Sentis approach to safety maturity? – Click on the link to read Sentis’ white paper on safety culture maturity, or contact us for a copy of the recent research paper.