Do you see what I see? Effects of national culture on employees' safety-related perceptions and behavior.

Accident; analysis and prevention

PubMedID: 25790976

Casey TW, Riseborough KM, Krauss AD. Do you see what I see? Effects of national culture on employees' safety-related perceptions and behavior. Accid Anal Prev. 2015;78173-184.
Growing international trade and globalization are increasing the cultural diversity of the modern workforce, which often results in migrants working under the management of foreign leadership. This change in work arrangements has important implications for occupational health and safety, as migrant workers have been found to be at an increased risk of injuries compared to their domestic counterparts. While some explanations for this discrepancy have been proposed (e. g. , job differences, safety knowledge, and communication difficulties), differences in injury involvement have been found to persist even when these contextual factors are controlled for. We argue that employees' national culture may explain further variance in their safety-related perceptions and safety compliance, and investigate this through comparing the survey responses of 562 Anglo and Southern Asian workers at a multinational oil and gas company. Using structural equation modeling, we firstly established partial measurement invariance of our measures across cultural groups. Estimation of the combined sample structural model revealed that supervisor production pressure was negatively related to willingness to report errors and supervisor support, but did not predict safety compliance behavior. Supervisor safety support was positively related to both willingness to report errors and safety compliance. Next, we uncovered evidence of cultural differences in the relationships between supervisor production pressure, supervisor safety support, and willingness to report errors; of note, among Southern Asian employees the negative relationship between supervisor production pressure and willingness to report errors was stronger, and for supervisor safety support, weaker as compared to the model estimated with Anglo employees. Implications of these findings for safety management in multicultural teams within the oil and gas industry are discussed.