Patient safety climate and worker safety behaviours in acute hospitals in Scotland

Cakil Agnew, Rhona Flin, Kathryn Mearns

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61 Citations (Scopus)


To obtain a measure of hospital safety climate from a sample of National Health Service (NHS) acute hospitals in Scotland and to test whether these scores were associated with worker safety behaviors, and patient and worker injuries.

Data were from 1,866 NHS clinical staff in six Scottish acute hospitals. A Scottish Hospital Safety Questionnaire measured hospital safety climate (Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture), worker safety behaviors, and worker and patient injuries. The associations between the hospital safety climate scores and the outcome measures (safety behaviors, worker and patient injury rates) were examined.

Hospital safety climate scores were significantly correlated with clinical workers’ safety behavior and patient and worker injury measures, although the effect sizes were smaller for the latter. Regression analyses revealed that perceptions of staffing levels and managerial commitment were significant predictors for all the safety outcome measures. Both patient-specific and more generic safety climate items were found to have significant impacts on safety outcome measures.

This study demonstrated the influences of different aspects of hospital safety climate on both patient and worker safety outcomes. Moreover, it has been shown that in a hospital setting, a safety climate supporting safer patient care would also help to ensure worker safety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Early online date11 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • safety climate
  • safety compliance
  • safety participation
  • worker and patient injuries


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