Interpreting the Nordic Occupational Safety Climate Questionnaire NOSACQ-50 results

The results of the NOSACQ-50 reflect the participants' perceptions of the safety climate, and not necessarily the actual conditions. The survey provides a 'snapshot' of conditions that can easily change.

Please ensure you have read the soft guidelines, and remember the survey results should be seen as a tool for dialogue and development – not as a “grade book”. The results reflect the participants' perceptions of the safety climate, and not necessarily the actual conditions. The survey provides a 'snapshot' of conditions that can easily change. The results should therefore be interpreted carefully. There are no standard solutions to the problems, and it is important to distinguish between basic conditions of work that are “part of the job” (e.g. outdoor weather effects) and factors that can/should be changed. 

NOSACQ-50 results are best compared with (in prioritised order):

A) The scale mean: The mathematical mean for the scale 1-2-3-4 is 2.5. So in principle results over 2.5 are positive (but there is usually room for improvement). 

B) Study-group mean: Compare the subgroup means to the overall study group mean, e.g. the specific company, work site, etc. 

C) Possible comparisons to results from similar and specific NOSACQ-50 studies - this could be by company type (e.g. other chemical companies), type of organisation (with a similar structure, and/or similar health & safety management systems), language (i.e. other native language studies), etc. 

D) NOSACQ-50 database - only for the sake of curiosity. The current database is not based on a representative sample, but is rather bias towards only those companies interested in being measured, many of which have a very (pro)active health & safety management system. 

The following are preliminary guidelines for interpreting the results of a survey. They are based on the current data in the international NOSACQ-50 database, and will be undergoing developed as the database grows in size with results from around the world. 

A rule of thumb for interpreting the results of each dimension:

  • A score of more than 3.30 indicates a good level allowing for maintaining and continuing developments
  • A score of 3.00 to 3.30 points to a fairly good level with slight need of improvement
  • A score of 2.70 to 2.99 shows a fairly low level with need of improvement 

A score below 2.70 indicates a low level with great need of improvement A Masters student has proposed a link between these NOSACQ-50 score categories and Hudson's (2003) levels of safety culture - ranging from the pathological (less than 2.4), reactive (2.4-2.69) and calculative (2.7-2.99) levels to the proactive (3.0-3.30) and generative (greater than 3.30) levels. 

The table below provides more accurate dimension means, based on the international data in the current database. The grand means are for responses from 'workers' and 'leaders' (managers & supervisors) respectively.

NOSACQ-50 dimensions

Grand

mean

Standard

deviation

Variance

Cronbach's

alpha

(reliability)

Workers (n=55,778)        
  Dim 1 - Management safety priority and ability  3.04 .49 .24 .86
  Dim 2 - Management safety empowerment  2.95 .48 .23 .84
  Dim 3 - Management safety justice  2.98 .50 .25 .80
  Dim 4 - Worker safety commitment  3.17 .46 .22 .77
  Dim 5 - Workers safety priority and risk non-acceptance  2.98 .51 .26 .78
  Dim 6 - Peer safety communication, learning, and trust in safety ability  3.14 .42 .18 .84
  Dim 7 - Workers trust in the efficacy of safety systems  3.22 .44 .20 .82
         
Leaders (managers & supervisors) (n=16,081)        
  Dim 1 - Management safety priority and ability  3.27 .45  .20  .84
  Dim 2 - Management safety empowerment  3.18 .46  .21  .84
  Dim 3 - Management safety justice  3.21  .47  .22  .80
  Dim 4 - Worker safety commitment  3.28  .45  .20  .76
  Dim 5 - Workers safety priority and risk non-acceptance  3.16  .49  .24  .79
  Dim 6 - Peer safety communication, learning, and trust in safety ability  3.27  .42  .17  .85
  Dim 7 - Workers trust in the efficacy of safety systems  3.35  .43  .19  .83

Revised data: August 2019, with a total of 55,778 'worker' and 16,081 'leader' (manager & supervisor) respondents from 499 different work sites or studies in 37 industrial sectors on 6 continents, using 27 different language versions. Mean age = 41 (age range 15-91), males = 77%, females 23%.

Sector specific benchmarks: You can receive up-to-date sector specific banchmarks when you submit your data for inclusion in the international database. Please indicate which of the following sectors you would like benchmark data from: Agriculture/Forestry, Construction, Energy, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Mining, Service or Transport.