Accident under-reporting among employees: testing the moderating influence of psychological safety climate and supervisor enforcement of safety practices

Accid Anal Prev. 2010 Sep;42(5):1438-44. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.06.027. Epub 2009 Jul 18.


We examined accident under-reporting with data from 425 employees employed in 5 industries with above average risk for employee injuries. We expected that rates for unreported accidents would be higher than rates for reported accidents; and that organizational safety climate and perceptions of supervisor enforcement of safety policies would moderate the relationship between unreported accidents and reported accidents. Results showed that the number of unreported accidents was significantly higher than the number of reported accidents. There was an average of 2.48 unreported accidents for every accident reported to the organization. Further, under-reporting was higher in working environments with poorer organizational safety climate or where supervisor safety enforcement was inconsistent. We discuss the implications of these findings for improving accident under-reporting and occupational safety in the workplace.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandatory Programs
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Safety Management / standards*
  • Safety Management / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace