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Detailed Survey Background

The survey is based upon a safety climate - culture assessment model, developed by Dr. Anthony Ciavarelli using research findings form experts on High Reliability Organizations, and research on Organizational Safety Climate, Safety Culture, and Organizational Effectiveness.

The main ideas behind the survey assessment process are the concepts of the High-Reliability Organization (HRO), and Safety Culture. Ciavarelli, A.P. (2008, February). Culture Counts: How does your organization measure up? Aerospace Safety Magazine. Washington DC: Flight Safety Foundation.

An HRO is an organization that conducts hazardous operations (like the military, some civilian organizations like airlines, and aerospace, chemical, oil and gas industries, and nuclear energy facilities), yet each of these organizations has very few accidents, given the known perils of their work. High Reliability is achieved by such things as leadership commitment to safety, safety focused management structure, and a strong safety culture.

The safety culture focuses on issues regarding what is and what is not believed to be safe, and the accepted values and norms of safe behavior. Shared Values (What is important) and Beliefs (How things work) that interact with an organizations structures and control systems to produce Behavioral Norms (The way things work around here) - James Reason (1997). Managing risks of organizational accidents. Brookfield: Ashgate.

The phrase "just culture" refers to the principles for achieving a culture in which frontline personnel feel comfortable disclosing errors - including their own - while maintaining professional accountability. A just culture is promoted, in part by incorporation of a "non-punitive" safety reporting system - a just culture recognizes that individual workers should not be held accountable for system failings over which they have no control AHRQ (2008). Becoming a high reliability organization: Operational Advice for Hospital leaders. Lewin Group, Falls Church, VA. -