Multilevel safety climate and safety performance in the construction industry: Development and validation of a top-down mechanism

Ran Gao, Ping Chuen Chan, Wahyudi P. Utama, Hafiz Zahoor

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The character of construction projects exposes front-line workers to dangers and accidents. Safety climate has been confirmed to be a predictor of safety performance in the construction industry. This study aims to explore the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between multilevel safety climate and safety performance. An integrated model was developed to study how particular safety climate factors of one level affect those of other levels, and then affect safety performance from the top down. A questionnaire survey was administered on six construction sites in Vietnam. A total of 1030 valid questionnaires were collected from this survey. Approximately half of the data were used to conduct exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and the remaining data were submitted to structural equation modeling (SEM). Top management commitment (TMC) and supervisors’ expectation (SE) were identified as factors to represent organizational safety climate (OSC) and supervisor safety climate (SSC), respectively, and coworkers’ caring and communication (CCC) and coworkers’ role models (CRM) were identified as factors to denote coworker safety climate (CSC). SEM results show that OSC factor is positively related to SSC factor and CSC factors significantly. SSC factor could partially mediate the relationship between OSC factor and CSC factors, as well as the relationship between OSC factor and safety performance. CSC factors partially mediate the relationship between OSC factor and safety performance, and the relationship between SSC factor and safety performance. The findings imply that a positive safety culture should be established both at the organizational level and the group level. Efforts from all top management, supervisors, and coworkers should be provided to improve safety performance in the construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1100
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Construction safety
  • Safety climate
  • Safety performance
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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