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Labor unions and safety climate: perceived union safety values and retail employee safety outcomes

Labor unions and safety climate: perceived union safety values and retail employee safety outcomes

Accident; Analysis and Prevention 42(5): 1477-1487

Although trade unions have long been recognized as a critical advocate for employee safety and health, safety climate research has not paid much attention to the role unions play in workplace safety. We proposed a multiple constituency model of workplace safety which focused on three central safety stakeholders: top management, ones' immediate supervisor, and the labor union. Safety climate research focuses on management and supervisors as key stakeholders, but has not considered whether employee perceptions about the priority their union places on safety contributes contribute to safety outcomes. We addressed this gap in the literature by investigating unionized retail employee (N=535) perceptions about the extent to which their top management, immediate supervisors, and union valued safety. Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that perceived union safety values could be distinguished from measures of safety training, workplace hazards, top management safety values, and supervisor values. Structural equation analyses indicated that union safety values influenced safety outcomes through its association with higher safety motivation, showing a similar effect as that of supervisor safety values. These findings highlight the need for further attention to union-focused measures related to workplace safety as well as further study of retail employees in general. We discuss the practical implications of our findings and identify several directions for future safety research.

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Accession: 054059514

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 20538104

DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.11.003

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