Dr. Huang’s Safety Climate Lab embarks on a collaboration with SAIF

Let the validation of the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum commence!

Dr. Huang’s Safety Climate Lab at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences within OHSU,  and SAIF, Oregon’s largest not-for-profit workers’ compensation insurance company, have launched a collaborative effort to improve safety measures across Oregon. This partnership taking place throughout 2020, will assess, validate, and extend SAIF’s current safety assessment model, the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum. Through extensive, advanced statistical analysis, this project will support the evolution of SAIF’s assessment tool. Our mutual goal to keep Oregonians safe and healthy in the workplace just got a little closer.

The Safety Climate Lab specializes in occupational accident and injury prevention by conducting safety climate research. Leading the Safety Climate Lab is Dr. Emily (Yueng-hsiang) Huang. Recognized as one of the most prolific contributors to Safety Climate research, Dr. Huang has dedicated her career to improving the safety, health, and well-being of employees across industries such as transportation, construction, utilities, and manufacturing. Dr. Huang and the Safety Climate Lab are honored and excited to collaborate with SAIF to help improve the safety and health of their policy holders with the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum. The spectrum is dedicated to the memory of Trevor Ansbro, SAIF senior safety management consultant, who developed the model.

An organization’s actual level of safety can be elusive; when demands are high and deadlines need to be met, how do employees and supervisors behave? Are safety procedures swept aside, or prioritized and enforced at all times regardless of delayed deadlines? These questions are answered when a company is evaluated and their safety climate score is measured. Once a score is determined, companies can take actions to improve their overall level of safety, and reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

Safety Climate, which is the measurable component of safety culture, is the reported sum of employees’ shared perceptions of their organization’s workplace safety policies, procedures, and practices. Safety culture on the other hand, describes the shared safety values and beliefs interacting with an organization’s structures and control systems which then produces behavioral norms. Safety Climate is the most accurate measurement of safety culture, and is used to predict safety-related outcomes and safety behaviors through statistical methods utilizing both qualitative and quantitative data. A strong Safety Climate has been shown to be predictive of lower injury rates, lower workers’ comp claims, increased job satisfaction, and decreased turnover intentions.

SAIF has been promoting safety for their clients through methods developed in the field and through years of safety experience. Here are some methods that SAIF suggests to improve safe behaviors for companies:

  1. Identify “safety champions” or employees who rock at playing it safe no matter what.
  2. Empower and engage employees to explore safe and healthy living, find safety hazards, and seek solutions.
  3. Recognize safe behaviors by praising those who successfully promote safety.
  4. Hold everyone accountable by encouraging commitment to safety and health through trainings and space for employees to practice a healthy lifestyle.
  5. Go above and beyond by seeking safety certifications or trainings. There are many resources available to keep Oregonians safe. Go out and give some a try!

SAIF has partnered with the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and Oregon OSHA promotion organizations to form the Oregon Total Worker Health Alliance. SAIF’s vision is to make Oregon the safest and healthiest place to work, including by promoting Total Worker Health practices.

Safety and Health Resources:
Oregon Healthy Workforce Center
Safety and Health info from SAIF
Huang Safety Climate Lab
Dr. Emily Huang faculty page here:
Bamel, U. K., Pandey, R., & Gupta, A. (2020). Safety climate: systematic literature network analysis of 38 years (1980-2018) of research. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 135, 105387.

Submitted by:

Anna Kelly, Project Coordinator
Anna Kelly is the Project Coordinator for Dr. Emily Huang’s Safety Climate Lab in the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and Portland State University in Art and Psychology. Her professional experience includes executive and operations coordination in international arts, non-profit, corporate, and academic settings. Anna is dedicated to putting research into practice with a focus on safety, occupational health, and employee well-being.

Elisa Rega, Project Specialist
Elisa Rega is a Project Specialist for Dr. Emily Huang’s Safety Climate Lab and earned a B.A. in Psychology from Oberlin College. Previously, Elisa conducted research at the National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan and published articles on creativity training. Some research interests include occupational injury prevention, intervention design, dissemination, mindfulness, autism, sleep, diversity and inclusion, game based learning, memory, and music and cognition. In addition to psychology research, Elisa is a concert violist who has performed in orchestras internationally, and teaches music.