Candidate in Philosophy


Environmental Sciences

Document Type



This work accesses the nature of and level of safety culture in the academic research community at Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (LSU). After serious chemical related accidents in academic research laboratories the National Academies of Science has made recommendations to improve safety within academic research by encouraging researchers to go beyond simple compliance with regulations and work toward fostering a strong, positive safety culture. The term, “safety culture” is used to describe workplace safety in various efforts to improve it. Researchers have studied these concepts from technical, social, and psychological viewpoints leading to the general consensus that a positive safety culture improves job safety. The concept of safety culture utilizes the concepts of organization theory that is directly related to safety such as safety attitude, values, and behavior. The safety attitude, values, and behavior at LSU are analyzed in reference to current thinking regarding safety culture.

A quantitative survey of the safety climate at LSU is presented to provide insight regarding the level of safety culture. The relative value of the safety climate at LSU was found to be 3.72 on a scale of 5 which is comparable to the published values of other universities and considered to be good. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of a linear model for safety culture model based on inputs of safety climate, safety attitudes, and safety behaviors. CFA is a technique used in structural equation modeling (SEM) to determine if a certain model is valid. The goodness of fit values indicated that the model’s overall structure of the culture model provided a reasonable fit of the data and confirmed the conceptual model.



Committee Chair

Wilson, Vincent L.