SAFETY CLIMATE AND SAFETY PERFORMANCE AMONG CONSTRUCTION WORKERS IN HONG KONG: THE ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STRAINS AS MEDIATORS
 
Siu, O.L., Lingnan University, Hong Kong SAR
 
This paper aims at examining relations among safety climate (safety attitudes and communication), psychological strains (psychological distress and job dissatisfaction), and safety performance (accident rate and occupational injuries). The present study administers a questionnaire to construction workers from 27 construction sites in Hong Kong (N = 374, M = 366, F = 8, mean age =36.68 years). It consists of a 45-item Safety Attitude Questionnaire and a 7-item communication scale developed by Donald and Canter (1993), a 13-item psychological distress scale (Siu & Cooper, 1998), and items measuring job satisfaction, and accident rate/injuries. Qualitative in-depth interviews and a survey collected data from February to May in 2000. The internal consistencies of these scales are acceptably high, with alphas ranging from 0.81 to 0.93. The validity of the structure of safety attitudes is demonstrated by facet analysis. It consists of three facets: Organizational Role (with self, workmates, team leader, line management, and safety officers as elements), Safety Object (with passive and active safety referents as elements), and Behavioural Modality (with cognitive, affective, and behavioural as elements). These results corroborate previous findings in Western societies. A path analysis using the EQS-5 was employed to test the proposed model relating safety climate, safety performance, and psychological strains. The results show that safety attitudes is negatively related to occupational injuries; and psychological distress is a mediator of the relationship between safety attitudes and accident rate ((2 = 3.11, NFI = 0.99, NNFI = 0.99, CFI = 1.00. RMSEA = 0.01).