An English/Spanish safety climate scale for construction workers

Am J Ind Med. 2007 Jun;50(6):438-42. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20457.


Background: Workers in the construction trades experience high rates of traumatic injury. An increasing number of workers in this industry speak only Spanish, including members of construction trade unions. This brief communication reports a dual language safety climate scale developed during a larger training intervention study.

Methods: Construction workers in two unions self-completed a previously validated 6-item safety climate scale modified for the construction trades. A seventh item was developed midway through the study and incorporated into the version completed by half of the respondents. For one union with a sizeable number of Spanish-speaking members, a dual-language (Spanish/English) version was administered. Follow-up telephone interviews conducted 3 months after the self-completed survey also included the safety climate scale.

Results: Cronbach's coefficient alpha was 0.85 for the 6-item scale and 0.85 for the 7-item scale. Similar coefficient alpha scores were found for the subgroup of Spanish-speakers on the 6- and 7-item scales. Spanish speakers with low education were less likely to respond to the scale when self-completing but not when it was administered by telephone in Spanish.

Conclusion: This safety climate scale elicits consistent and reliable response from unionized construction workers when administered in English or in Spanish. Spanish literacy may be a consideration for the use of this scale among foreign-born Hispanic workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Comprehension
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Health Education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / education*
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Labor Unions
  • Multilingualism*
  • Safety Management*
  • White People / education*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / ethnology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*