Survey of safety climate in public hospitals in Costa Rica in 1997

Sarah Anne Felknor, The University of Texas School of Public Health


In response to growing concern for occupational health and safety in the public hospital system in Costa Rica, a research program was initiated in 1995 to evaluate and improve the safety climate in the national healthcare system through regional training programs, and to develop the capacity of the occupational health commissions in these settings to improve the identification and mitigation of workplace risks. A cross-sectional survey of 1000 hospital-based healthcare workers was conducted in 1997 to collect baseline data that will be used to develop appropriate worker training programs in occupational health. The objectives of this survey were to: (1) describe the safety climate within the national hospital system, (2) identify factors associated with safety climate focusing on individual and organizational variables, and (3) to evaluate the relationship between safety climate and workplace injuries and safety practices of employees. Individual factors evaluated included the demographic variables of age, gender, education and profession. Organizational factors evaluated included training, psychosocial work environment, job-task demands, availability of protective equipment and administrative controls. Work-related injuries and safety practices of employees included the type and frequency of injuries experienced and reported, and compliance with established safety practices. Multivariate regression analyses demonstrated that training and administrative controls were the two most significant predictors of safety climate. None of the demographic variables were significant predictors of safety climate. Safety climate was inversely and significantly associated with workplace injuries and positively and significantly associated with safety practices. These results suggest that training and administrative controls should be included in future training efforts and that improving safety climate will decrease workplace injuries and increase safety practices.

Subject Area

Occupational safety|Public health

Recommended Citation

Felknor, Sarah Anne, "Survey of safety climate in public hospitals in Costa Rica in 1997" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9831529.