Safety Climate Lab and SAIF: Two-year collaboration on the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum and Survey

Over the last two years, Dr. Emily Huang’s Safety Climate Lab had the pleasure of collaborating with the Safety and Health Division of SAIF Corporation, a Total Worker Health® Affiliate and partner of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC). This multiphase project was part of the important legacy of Trevor Ansbro who originally developed the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum to enhance the safety, health and well-being of SAIF policyholders. The collaboration sought to scientifically validate the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum through reviewing and editing the content, creating a 30-item survey that maps to the 10 sub-dimensions within the Spectrum and then shortening to survey to 10 items to further support accessibility, efficiency and effectiveness of SAIF’s work with policyholders.

“This work would not have been possible without the skilled project management, strong policyholder relationships and the ability to navigate all contingencies and logistics with grace. The first stages of this project began in 2020, kicking off just before the COVID-19 pandemic. It was an honor to witness the impressive efforts SAIF put forth to support their policyholders throughout this time and a privilege to be working with such an organization,” said Dr. Emily (Yueng-hsiang) Huang.

The first phase of this project involved conducting a review of the scientific literature to evaluate and update the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum sub-dimensions and to inform the development of a survey to measure each of the sub-dimensions. Next, the Safety Climate Lab conducted 31 interviews with both internal (e.g., SAIF safety consultants) and external (e.g., policyholder risk managers, safety directors) subject matter experts (SMEs) to review the updated Spectrum and survey. During this stage, over 70 adjustments were made to the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum and a finalized version of the 30-item Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum Survey was ready to implement with SAIF policyholders.

Four policyholders were recruited to participate in the data collection and were provided with feedback reports and insights into their organization’s safety climate and culture. The data were assessed against empirically established measures (i.e., safety climate, job satisfaction, safety behavior, and safety communication) and objective outcome measures (i.e., historic accident and injury data). The conclusion of the first year resulted in an updated Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum and a new 30-item Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum Survey that was built on evidence of reliability and content-, face-, and criterion-related validity and the ability to map to the Spectrum. Additionally, this project produced an Implementation Guide to support SAIF with the development of their internal survey administration and assessment process and a Technical Memo reviewing the entirety of the project.

The second phase of this project began in 2021 and focused on shortening the 30-item survey to a more efficient 10-item survey. The survey was administered to nine more policyholders providing a substantial dataset of over 2,400 employees from 13 different policyholders in total, representing nine different industries. Item Response Theory (IRT) statistical techniques were employed to assess the item strength, differentiation, and sensitivity.

A correlational analysis (statistical method to find a relationship in the data) was conducted on the final 10-item survey to assess it against the original 30-item survey, which is an original empirically developed safety climate measure. The analyses revealed that the shortened 10-item survey was highly correlated and captured data that fit a similar model and structure as the original 30-item version. The final phase of this project produced an empirically tested 10-item Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum Short Survey and a Technical Memo reviewing the project and statistical analyses.

“This work is reflective of the quality we’ve come to expect from OHSU,” said Steve Thornton, project manager. “We now have a 10-question survey for policyholders to use, which will take them much less time to do. The research by OHSU shows that the shortened survey will have similar results as the longer one.”

The Safety Climate Team is proud of their work with SAIF Corporation and is grateful for the opportunity to support SAIF and its policyholders!

Blog post by Anna Kelly, Elisa Rega and Dr. Emily (Yueng-hsiang) Huang from the Safety Climate Lab

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