Examples of Definitions of Safety Culture

American Nurses Association (ANA)

A culture of safety describes the core values and behaviors that come about when there is collective and continuous commitment by organizational leadership, managers, and healthcare workers to emphasize safety over competing goals (ANA, 2016).

The Joint Commission (TJC)

Safety culture is the sum of what an organization is and does in the pursuit of safety (TJC, 2021).

T.R. Lee

The safety culture of an organization is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organization’s health and safety management (Lee, 1996).

Descriptions of Safety Culture

  • Collective reflection of the perception, attitudes, and shared experiences of the safety culture
  • Your smaller work unit or “microcosm” should reflect the organization’s positive safety culture

Attributes include:

  • Emphasis on quality
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership support
  • Communication
  • Non-punitive response to errors
  • Perception of organizational commitment
  • Work design
  • Staffing and workload

Resources (Gershon et al., 2004; Stone et al., 2005).

Page last reviewed: April 28, 2022