Safety climate and organizational justice as predictors of occupational injury rates and the decision to file for workers’ compensation benefits
Sorensen, Kelly Lynn
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This study explores the relationship between employees’ group-level perceptions of safety climate and organizational justice and rates of occupational injuries and workers’ compensation claiming. Society and organizations alike stand to gain considerably from the prevention and management of workplace disabilities. Because organizations may have at least partial control over factors which affect both rates of injury on the job and the decision to file a workers’ compensation claim, a better understanding of the antecedents of accidents and workers’ compensation claiming can potentially lead to a reduction in both. This paper examines the relationships between perceived safety climate, organizational justice, accident rates and workers’ compensation claiming. Findings suggest that employees’ perceptions of safety climate and organizational justice vary depending upon subgroup. Partial support was found for a negative relationship between safety climate and injury rates and claiming. Support was not found for the hypothesized negative relationship between justice perceptions and claiming. The hypothesized relationship between injury rates and days lost time claiming was also not supported,. Finally, results for tests of reverse causality were equivocal, with cross lagged panel analyses showing some support for a reciprocal relationship between safety climate and injuries and claiming, but with latent growth modeling (LGM) analyses showing no significant relationships between these variables.