Comparison of safety cultures between the chemical and power industries

Pasi Porkka, Petri Paajanen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    We have defined a safety culture ontology and corresponding questionnaire, which includes 17 features and 51 statements. The statements specify an aspect of one or more features. Employees of organisations estimate the truth value of the statement in regard to their own organisation at that moment in time. The employees also specify how they would like the situation represented by that statement to be in the future. Responses are made through an Internet-based self-evaluation tool.
    In our research project, we studied ten different organisations in a Finnish chemical industrial park. This covers all the major companies within the area, with 794 employees as potential respondents. We had 407 replies, giving a response rate of 51.3%. In addition, four companies from the power industry participated in our research. Some of these companies have their own power plants, build and maintain a power-distribution network and sell electricity. From the power companies, there were 158 replies with a response rate of 86.3%.
    From the respondents’ answers, we have firstly defined a collective understanding of each organisation’s safety culture. Then, by combining the answers of the companies from the two separate industries, we have built up a picture of the overall safety cultures of the two industries.
    The results of the comparisons show that the same kinds of points of interest and concern in both industries do exist. However, safety culture also varies greatly across both industries at some points, with significant differences in the current as well as in target states and proactive visions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)403-408
    Number of pages6
    JournalChemical Engineering Transactions
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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