Small Business Employees' Perceptions of Leadership Are Associated With Safety and Health Climates and Their Own Behaviors

J Occup Environ Med. 2020 Feb;62(2):156-162. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001789.


Objective: Leadership is an important factor in creating a safe and healthy work environment. Little is known about its influence in small organizations. This study assessed the relationship between leadership, climate, and employee behavior in organizations with less than 500 employees.

Methods: We examined organizational factors and worker perceptions of leadership and safety/health behaviors in an analysis of 1271 employees in 53 Colorado small organizations. Cross-sectional relationships were assessed using multivariable linear regression models.

Results: Perceived leadership commitment to safety was associated with safety climate (β = 0.67) and safety behaviors among employees (β = 0.45). Perceived leadership commitment to worksite wellness was associated with health climate (β = 0.66) and health behaviors (β = 0.42).

Conclusions: Leadership plays an important role in creating a positive work environment around safety and health.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorado
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Leadership
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Perception
  • Safety Management
  • Small Business*
  • Workplace