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Development of a methodology for understanding and enhancing safety culture in Air Traffic Management

Mearns, Kathryn, Kirwan, Barry, Reader, Tom W., Jackson, Jeanette, Kennedy, Richard and Gordon, Rachael (2013) Development of a methodology for understanding and enhancing safety culture in Air Traffic Management. Safety Science, 53 . pp. 123-133. ISSN 0925-7535

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Abstract

There is increasing interest in applying the concept of safety culture in Air Traffic Management (ATM). Using a mixed methods approach, this paper describes the development of a safety culture management toolkit that uses questionnaires and safety culture feedback workshops. The development process involved four phases. Phase 1 involved a review of the safety culture literature from 2001 to 2005 to identify relevant safety culture themes. Phase 2 involved conducting interviews with personnel (n = 52) from four geographically disparate European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) to validate and identify themes relevant to ATM. Follow-up focus groups (n = 3) consolidated the themes, and developed a preliminary set of questionnaire items; Phase 3 involved piloting a safety culture survey instrument with ATM staff (n = 537) in four countries. Construct validity of the questionnaire was tested using both Exploratory and Confirmatory factor analysis (EFA, CFA). Substantial refinement of the item set was required to establish a consistent model, and a second sample (n = 883) was surveyed to replicate the model. Phase 4 involved conducting feedback workshops with ANSP personnel in study locations (n = 7) in order to further validate the themes identified in the questionnaire. These were used to develop qualitative insights (e.g. specific safety problems and solutions) relating to the results of the questionnaire at each ANSP. The study aimed to develop a bespoke quantitative measurement instrument (and qualitative feedback tool) with construct and discriminant validity, and the ability to consistently measure safety culture in ANSPs throughout Europe, and facilitate safety improvements in air traffic management. This aim was partially achieved, and although the safety culture toolkit was perceived as useful for exploring and highlighting safety issues at a local ANSP level, further work is required. This will involve developing the tool to ensure it operates consistently in different national and cultural setting, and designing metrics for testing the criterion validity of the safety culture toolkit.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/safety-science/
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2012 11:33
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/47276/

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