Safety Culture Assessment: Frequently Asked Questions

Safety Culture Assessment: Frequently Asked Questions

​​​What is the Safety Culture Assessment? 

The Safety Culture Assessment​ (SCA) is an easy-to-complete to​​ol comprised of 12 questions that ass​​esses a workplace's safety culture, is relevant to al​l sectors and organizational sizes and is able to track change over time. The SCA is based on the eight-question Institute for Work and Health Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM)​, which is an evidence-based survey developed and validated as a leading indicator of safety and health performance. 

The SCA helps to assess the six dimensions​ of a strong workplace safety culture. 

Why did we develop the SCA? 

We developed the SCA to meet two requirements: 

  1. To help workplaces understand and improve their safety culture and its relationship to their safety and health efforts. 
  2. To help assess whether or not safety certification​ (i.e., SAFE Work Certified) is helping to improve a workplace's safety and health management system in reducing the risk of injury and illness. 

How is the SCA being used in Manitoba? 

SAFE Work Manitoba is the first in the country to use the SCA, adapted from the IWH-OPM, to help workplaces assess their safety and health performance as part of the safety certification​ progress. To do this, it is completed twice prior to certification and then annually with each maintenance audit. The SCA is not used to grade a workplace's safety culture 

​Who completes the SCA? 

For the purposes of SAFE Work Certified, the SCA is intended to be completed by the person in the workplace most knowledgeable about its safety and health program and practices. Studies completed by the IWH verify that this individual provides the most accurate reporting for each of the items. 

How was the SCA developed? 

The SCA was developed in consultation with the IWH, and Manitoba safety and health stakeholders. ​The SCA was adapted from the scientifically-tested Organizational Performance Metric created by the IWH and is used with their permission. The IWH-OPM is published by the Institute for Work & Health and licensed by IWH and is available here​​. This work is licensed by IWH under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives4.0 International License​​. It may be used and shared as long as IWH is credited as the source, the questionnaire is not modified, and the questionnaire is used for non-commercial purposes. If you wish to modify and/or use the questionnaire for commercial purposes, please contact

What happens to the SCA information? 

The SCA results are collected by SAFE Work Manitoba to provide the workplace and SAFE Work Manitoba a baseline measure for both the workplace safety culture and SAFE Work Certified program strength. Individual responses, workplace information and any identifying features will be kept confidential. ​​

Where can I get assistance after I complete the SCA? 

As shown on the SCA, your results will fall into one of three key areas: 

Green (Safety Culture Assessment final score is equal to or greater than 3): You are performing well overall. Keep doing what you are doing and strive for excellence. 

Yellow (Safety Culture Assessment final score is equal to or greater than 2 but less than 3): Specific safety and health practices in your organization may need some improvement. Consider if the lower scored items in your survey should be a focus area for your company. Review your practices and policies, and consider consulting your Industry-Based Safety Program (IBSP) representative or a safety and health professional for information about ways to improve. 

Red (Safety Culture Assessment final score is less than 2): Your work in safety and health likely needs attention and improvement. It is recommended you contact your IBSP​ ​representative or a safety and health professional for customized assistance. 

​Are there other ways to use the SCA? 

Workplaces are free to use the tool in other ways, including as a broad workplace survey. In doing so, they should ensure they follow survey protocols, including ensuring privacy/confidentiality, communicating results, and reporting on strategies and tactics for making improvements. Across Canada, a number of provinces have already adopted the IWH-OPM and are using it in a variety of ways, including to support client engagement, build benchmarks, build conversations in high-risk industries and start conversations with CEOs. There is also an effort by the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) to have each province collect IWH-OPM data in order to set cross-provincial benchmarks.​

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