Organizational support and safety outcomes: An un-investigated relationship?

K. J. Mearns, T. Reader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Citations (Scopus)


The present study explores the relationship between perceived organizational support and health support from supervisors and workmates, and 'safety citizenship behaviour' (SCB) in offshore employees. It is hypothesised that high levels of support reflecting care in the organization about employee well-being will lead to more positive safety behaviour in the workforce. Data were collected from 703 offshore workers on 18 UKCS installations (35% response rate) using a cross-sectional questionnaire design. Scales measuring perceptions of organizational support, supervisor support for health, workmates support for health and SCB were found to have good psychometric properties and were used as the basis for further analysis. The results indicate that high levels of support at both an organizational and supervisor level reflecting care and concern for the well-being of workers leads to a reciprocal relationship in terms of increased SCB. This shows that appropriate social exchanges within an organization may lead to unanticipated benefits in terms of employee safety behaviours that go beyond normal compliance. In this study, general support from the organization and specific support from the supervisor in relation to health issues appear have an impact on safety performance outcomes such as intervening to assist work colleagues and reporting dangers. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
JournalSafety Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • health support
  • organizational support
  • safety citizenship
  • offshore industry
  • psychological contract violations
  • climate


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