Safety culture in anaesthesiology: basic concepts and practical application

Konstantinos Arfanis, Evie Fioratou, Andrew Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article starts from a social science viewpoint and reviews the concepts and measurement of safety culture and climate in their original industrial settings and in health care. Typical items measured and generic characteristics of a positive safety culture are described. The role of personality, professional group membership and anaesthesiology-specific knowledge and expertise in shaping notions of risk and safety and safety behaviour are discussed. The difficulties of changing human behaviour are outlined, and the pivotal role which anaesthesiologists can play in promoting a positive safety culture, both individually and within their teams and organisations, is highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalBest Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology
Issue number2
Early online date6 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • anaesthesiology
  • safety
  • management
  • psychology, social
  • psychology, industrial
  • operating rooms


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