Safety climate perceptions of employees and contractors at Sasol Technology.
ABSTRACT Sasol improved its safety performance over the period 2002 to 2008. This is evident in the company’s recordable case rate (RCR) over that period. However, in the last four financial years, 2008-2012, the company has plateaued on that improvement, and has failed to reach its RCR of 0.34 for FY2011/2012. Interestingly, it has become evident that the service providers have shown a worse safety performance than the owner company’s employees, every year since 2006/2007. Therefore, in an effort to contribute to a renewed and sustained improvement of Sasol Technology’s safety performance, together with achievement of its target RCR of 0.32 by 2013, this study will aim to identify areas for improvement in Sasol Technology’s safety performance. It will therefore look at how its own employees and employees of the service providers perceive the safety climate in the company. Using theoretical links and the predictable validity of safety climate perceptions on overall safety performance, the key findings from this research are: • A determination of the safety climate factor structure applicable to Sasol Technology. These factors are Risk at Workplace; Safety Communication, Compliance and Training, and, Management Values. • A deduction by way of hypothesis testing that the employees and contractors differ significantly in how they perceive the safety climate in the business. The inference with this finding is that if these two groups see safety differently at the same place of work, executing the same or similar projects, then achieving the safety targets will be difficult given that both do not share a common perception of the safety climate. • A second hypothesis test revealed that there are significant differences in the perception of Sasol Technology’s safety climate across the differing job levels in the company (i.e. management, supervisory and non- iii supervisory). The factor Management Values was the only factor that was perceived to be the same across the levels. • An identification of the areas for improvement of the safety climate. These improvement areas have been prioritised as requiring ‘above average’ focus, ‘average’ focus and ‘below average’ focus. Improvement aimed specifically at these focus areas should improve the safety climate perceptions of the workforce, and that should translate into improved safety performance. This research does not aim to suggest how to execute more effective ways to improve the safety climate. Instead, this research report identifies factors that need attention, according to the perceptions of the workforce. The desired outcome of this research is to contribute to the effort of pursuing acceptable levels of safety performance at Sasol Technology, by using leading indicators of safety performance. It is therefore highly recommended that management take cognisance of the link between safety climate and safety performance. After all, statistical analysis has indicated that organisational leaders should develop strategies to enhance safety climate, as this will have a positive effect on safety performance.
Sasol (Firm),Petroleum industry and trade -- Safety measures,Industrial safety.