The research on factors involved in successful occupational safety programs was reviewed and twelve major studies were analyzed. The three methods of approach used in the studies were: opinion polls of company safety personnel; analysis of the safety practices of companies having outstanding safety records; and comparisons of safety program practices in companies having high work injury rates with those having low rates. A number of common factors were found; the most important involve the human element. These factors included strong management commitment to safety and involvement in safety programs and close contact and interaction between workers, supervisors, and management, with open, informal communication. Also important are training programs including early indoctrination of workers in safe procedures and follow-up instruction; a workforce stability based on a large core of married older workers with significant periods of service; and personnel selection, development, and advancement procedures which promote workforce stability. These human factors were believed to be more closely related to maximally effective safety programs than approaches based on engineering methods.