Safety perception referents of permanent and temporary employees: Safety climate boundaries in the industrial workplace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To explore the significant referents of safety perceptions among permanent and temporary employees in order to identify the boundaries of safety climate in a heterogeneous workforce. Method: Collection of data from semi-structured interviews with employees in manufacturing organizations, using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to identify basic safety perceptions. Independent raters used content analysis to examine the data. Results: Analysis of the data revealed differences between safety themes at organization, group and individual levels. Themes relating to the individual were more prevalent among temporary employees, while those relating to the group and the organization prevailed among permanent employees. Conclusions: Permanent employees view organizational and group levels as significant referents of safety perceptions, while temporary employees focus on the individual level. The results challenge the current view of safety climate as a uniform concept for all employees and prescribe boundary conditions for safety climate. It is suggested that organizations should implement "tailor-made" safety-climate practices according to the referents of employee sub-groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1423-1430
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this research was provided by The Prevention Action unit, Department of Labor Inspection, Ministry of Industry Trade & Labor, Israel.


  • Content analysis
  • Organizational level
  • Safety climate
  • Temporary employees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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