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Detailed Survey Background

The survey is based upon a safety climate - culture assessment model, developed by Dr. Anthony Ciavarelli using research findings form experts on High Reliability Organizations, and research on Safety Climate and Safety Culture, and Organizational Effectiveness. The main idea behind the survey assessment process is the concept of the High-Reliability Organization (HRO).

An HRO is an organization that conducts hazardous operations (like the military, some civilian organizations like airlines, and aerospace, chemical, oil and gas industries, and nuclear energy facilities), yet each of these organizations has very few accidents, given the known perils of their work. The model of organizational safety effectiveness derived from this research was used to generate the core high-reliability questionnaire items for this survey.

A short description of the High Reliability Organizational Effectiveness Model used in each survey, which defines key safety processes used by HRO's, is presented below:

(1) Process Auditing: An HRO has a working system of checks to identify hazards and unacceptable risks, and the means to report and correct any safety problems identified without fear of reprisal from management.

(2) Culture and Reward System: An HRO has a positive safety climate and a strong safety culture that includes rewards for safe behavior, and clear procedures to correct unsafe behavior. Management does not reprimand honest, unintentional errors committed by an employee and encourages reporting such instances as a means to learn and not to "punish" employees.

(3) Quality Assurance: An HRO has clearly stated policies and standard operating procedure for promoting high-quality work performance, and safe work environment.

(4) Risk Management: HRO leaders have an accurate perception of the operational risks associated with company operations, and have a working systematic process for employees to identify and report hazards and to control operational risks.

(5) Leadership and Supervision: An HRO has leadership that is openly committed to safety and visibly active in promoting a strong safety culture. Company executives ensure that resources, policies, plans, processes, and the selection and training of personnel are adequate to maintain safe and successful operations.