A study was conducted to determine the validity of an instrument used to measure safety culture. This instrument was developed from a framework that was garnered from research literature and describes 18 characteristics of safety culture at different levels of culture maturity. Scores from the completed instrument identify the distribution and preponderance of culture maturity for a group. Over 800 completed surveys were gathered and analyzed to determine the validity of its measurements.

As this measurement tool is available to safety practicitioners through research literature, validation of its measurement capability creates an avenue for many to evaluate their safety culture with confidence. Additionally, the study provides recommendations on how to use the tool effectively and improve the existing instrument.

Analysis of the data using confirmatory factor analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and Cronbach's Alpha yielded confirmation that the existing instrument was indeed a reliable measure. Potential gaps were also identified. Both factor analyses supported a three factor structure of safety culture, with one factor that was less developed than the remaining two. As a result of these findings, while the current instrument can be useful in providing a valid indication of safety culture, modifications are recommended and detailed in the study.

The importance of safety culture as a mechanism for improving HSE performance is well documented. However, current research does not agree on a model of safety culture nor does it support any particular instrument for measuring culture. The results of this study provide support of a three factor model that will be helpful for practitioners wanting to improve culture within their organization. As well, the validation of the current instrument provides a mechanism for measuring culture that is commonly available.

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