The use of supervisory practices as leverage to improve safety behavior: a cross-level intervention model

J Safety Res. 2003;34(5):567-77. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2003.05.006.


Introduction: The paper presents three intervention studies designed to modify supervisory monitoring and rewarding of subordinates' safety performance.

Method: Line supervisors received weekly feedback concerning the frequency of their safety-oriented interactions with subordinates, and used this to self-monitor progress toward designated improvement goals. Managers higher up in the organizational hierarchy received the same information, coupled with synchronous data concerning the frequency of workers' safety behaviors, and highlighting co-variation of supervisory action and workers' behavior.

Results: In all the companies involved, supervisory safety-oriented interaction increased significantly, resulting in significant changes in workers' safety behavior and safety climate scores. Continued improvement during the post-intervention period suggests the inclusion of workers' safety behavior as in-role supervisory responsibility. Applied and theoretical implications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control
  • Behavior*
  • Food-Processing Industry / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Management Quality Circles
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Safety Management / methods*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • Safety*