Workplace safety: A review and research synthesis

Jeremy M. Beus, Mallory A. McCord, Dov Zohar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Unsafe work environments have clear consequences for both individuals and organizations. As such, an ever-expanding research base is providing a greater understanding of the factors that affect workplace safety across organizational levels. However, despite scientific advances, the workplace safety literature suffers from a lack of theoretical and empirical integration that makes it difficult for organizational scientists to gain a comprehensive sense of (a) what we currently know about workplace safety and (b) what we have yet to learn. This review addresses these shortcomings. First, the authors provide a formal definition of workplace safety and then create an integrated safety model (ISM) based on existing theory to summarize current theoretical expectations with regard to workplace safety. Second, the authors conduct a targeted review of the safety literature and compare extant empirical findings with the ISM. Finally, the authors use the results of this review to articulate gaps between theory and research and then make recommendations for both theoretical and empirical improvements to guide and integrate future workplace safety research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-381
Number of pages30
JournalOrganizational Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • accidents
  • high reliability organization
  • safety
  • safety climate
  • safety model


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