School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles


Huw Flatau Harrison

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 1453

Start date

Feb 2014

Submission date

Aug 2017

Curriculum vitae

Huw Flatau Harrison CV
[doc, 176.79 kb]
Updated 25 Nov 2015

Huw Flatau Harrison

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Investigating the measurement, and development of, safety climate: how does safety climate vary, and how can we change it?


Recent reports suggest that many within the oil/gas and mining industries are grappling with a myriad of different safety related issues (DMP Report, 2014). Snapshot industry figures within the West Australian mining sector reveal that there were 52 fatal accidents between 2000 and 2012, a large proportion of which were employees in their first year of work (DMP Report, 2014). Understanding the underlying processes and possible causes of negative safety outcomes (including fatalities), and being able to predict poor safety outcomes, is thus an imperative for researchers and practitioners.

‘Safety climate’ refers to the shared perceptions that members of a team or organisation have with respect to the safety functioning, capability and commitment of their organisation (Griffin & Neal, 2000; Zohar, 1980, 2008). Typically, it is a quantitative measurement device which aggregates individual perceptions of organisation wide approaches to safety within the workplace (Griffin & Neal, 2000; Zohar, 1980, 2008). Importantly, those researchers attempting to anticipate safety incidents have investigated the validity of safety climate tools in predicting safety incidents, and have found predictive capacity within short time frames (Bergman, Payne, Taylor, & Beus, 2014; Payne, Bergman, Rodríguez, Beus, & Henning, 2010; Zohar, 2000). In general, the ability for these tools to accurately predict the emergence of safety critical incidents is termed their ‘Lead Indicator’ potential (Payne et al., 2010; Reiman & Pietikäinen, 2012). My research is focused on understanding the measurement properties of safety climate measurement tools, including the stability of conventional theoretical models when subjected to item reduction techniques, as well as the stability of individual and team safety climate perceptions over time. In addition, I am investigating what variables act as agents of change in the development and variability of safety climate over time.

Why my research is important

Understanding underlying measurement properties of safety climate measurement tools, and factors that influence safety climate development, is vital for researchers and practitioners alike in further developing the predictive lead indicator capacity of safety climate tools, and in anticipating future safety related incidents.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)
  • Rio Tinto Centre for Safety Top-Up Scholarship
  • UWA Safety Net Top-Up Scholarship


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Last updated:
Friday, 23 January, 2015 3:27 PM