Knowledge Management – a Neglected Dimension in Discourse on Safety Management and Safety Culture – Evidence from Estonia

Marina Jarvis, Anu Virovere, Piia Tint


The current study proposes a model for a positive safety culture with a knowledge management dimension and tests this on a sample of 1757 employees from Estonian SMEs in different branches of industry, using the factor analysis. Despite conceptual and empirical justification, researchers have not consistently included concepts of knowledge management in safety culture studies. This paper explores the possibility of using Knowledge Management in the Occupational Health and Safety Management System. The paper reports on an empirical examination of the relationship between safety climate and safety culture through a knowledge management dimension with a special focus on the management of safety knowledge. The results of this study indicate that a safety climate has impact on the three dimensions of safety culture, namely psychological, behavioral and organizational aspects of safety culture. This paper supplements Cooper’s Reciprocal Model of Safety Culture with Knowledge Management System Dimensions. Several specific features of knowledge management, such as communication, personal competence and responsibility, were found to influence the relationship between a safety climate and a safety culture. Thus, an effective assessment tool for the evaluation of knowledge management dimensions of safety culture could be proposed based on the results of this study.


Knowledge management, organizational values, safety assessment tool, safety climate, safety culture

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DOI: 10.7250/ste.2014.001

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