Outcomes of Safety Climate in Trucking: a Longitudinal Framework

  • Jin LeeEmail author
  • Yueng-Hsiang Huang
  • Robert R. Sinclair
  • Janelle H. Cheung
Original Paper


Utilizing a longitudinal approach, this study examined mechanisms explaining how safety climate is associated with truck drivers’ safety behavior and outcomes. The present study also examined the top-down process of how organization-level safety climate (i.e., top management referenced) is related to group-level safety climate (i.e., supervisor referenced). Two waves (matched N = 481) of safety climate and safety behavior data (with a 2-year interval) were obtained from a large US trucking company. Days lost due to road injuries were assessed 6 months after time 2. Autoregressive, cross-lagged, and prospective effects were examined. Safety climate scores and safety behavior were moderately stable across a 2-year period. Both organization- and group-level safety climate scores were positively associated with safety behavior. The top-down association between time 1 organization-level safety climate and time 2 group-level safety climate was supported. Safety behavior mediated the relationship between group-level safety climate and future lost days due to injury. Contrary to suggestions of some prior research, the present study shows that safety climate measures may have lasting ability to predict safety behavior/outcomes in the trucking industry. In particular, the present study supported a hierarchical model in which organization-level safety climate influences safety outcomes through its influence on group-level climate. The top-down model connotes that top management efforts to instill a strong positive safety climate to affect workers’ driving behavior operate through management’s influence on the actions of the workers’ immediate supervisor.


Safety climate and safety behavior Top-down process Longitudinal design Autoregressive effect Lagged effect Mediation Trucking industry 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Liberty Mutual Research Institute for SafetyHopkintonUSA
  3. 3.Liberty Mutual Risk Control ServicesHopkintonUSA
  4. 4.Oregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  5. 5.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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