Can Civility Norms Boost Positive Effects of Management Commitment to Safety?

J Psychol. 2016 Jul 3;150(5):591-605. doi: 10.1080/00223980.2016.1143798. Epub 2016 Feb 25.


We proposed that civility norms would strengthen relationships between management commitment to safety and workers' safety motivation, safety behaviors, and injuries. Survey data were obtained from working adults in hazardous jobs-those for which physical labor is required and/or a realistic possibility of physical injury is present (N = 290). Results showed that management commitment positively related to workers' safety motivation, safety participation, and safety compliance, and negatively related to minor injuries. Furthermore, management commitment to safety displayed a stronger positive relationship with safety motivation and safety participation, and a stronger negative relationship with minor worker injuries when civility norms were high (versus low). The results confirm existing known relationships between management commitment to safety and worker safety motivation and behavior; furthermore, civility norms facilitate the relationships between management commitment to safety and various outcomes important to worker safety. In order to promote an optimally safe working environment, managers should demonstrate a commitment to worker safety and promote positive norms for interpersonal treatment between workers in their units.

Keywords: accidents; civility; injuries; management commitment to safety; safety climate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Employment / standards
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health / standards*
  • Occupational Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Safety / standards*
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / standards