Safety culture, safety management and accident risk in trucking companies
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 2020, 73 (August 2020), 325-347. 10.1016/j.trf.2020.07.001
The Safety ladder for goods transport describes an approach with an increasing prevalence of safety structural measures at four Safety ladder levels in trucking companies. This paper validates the Safety ladder approach in empirical research by comparing safety structure, safety culture and accident risk for trucking companies. The study has four aims: 1) To map the safety structure at the different levels of the Safety ladder, 2) Examine whether safety culture is improved with increased structural measures at each Safety ladder level, 3) Examine whether the accident risk decreases at each Safety ladder level, and 4) Discuss practical implications. The study is based on survey data (N = 533) from 17 companies at different levels of the Safety ladder, a Reference sample, and qualitative interviews (N = 30) with management and employee representatives in the companies. Based on the interviews, we describe the safety structural measures at each level of the Safety ladder. Survey results indicate increasing safety culture scores at each level of the Safety ladder, while the accident risk decreases. The safety culture level was 12 points higher at Level 4, than in the Reference sample, and the accident risk at Level 4 was half the risk of Level 2. We conclude by suggesting the concrete management practices related to each level. Thus, the current study identifies and describes management practices in trucking companies that are associated with high safety culture scores and low accident risk.