Testing the reliability and validity of a measure of safety climate.

E. Anderson, P. M. McGovern, L. Kochevar, D. Vesley, R. Gershon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lack of compliance with universal precautions (UP) is well documented across a wide variety of healthcare professions and has been reported both before and after the enactment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Gershon, Karkashian, and Felknor (1994) found that several factors correlated significantly with healthcare workers' lack of compliance with UP, including a measure of organizational safety climate (e.g., the employees' perception of their organizational culture and practices regarding safety). We conducted a secondary analysis using data from a cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of 1,746 healthcare workers at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens to assess the validity and reliability of Gershon's measure of safety climate. Findings revealed no relationship between safety climate and employees' gender, age, education, tenure in position, profession, hours worked per day, perceived risk, attitude toward risk, and training. An association was demonstrated between safety climate and (1) healthcare worker compliance with UP and (2) the availability of personal protective equipment, providing support for the construct validity of this measure of safety climate. These findings could be used by occupational health professionals to assess employees' perceptions of the safety culture and practices in the workplace and to guide the institution's risk management efforts in association with U.P.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalJournal for healthcare quality : official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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