SCSC - Group: Safety Culture

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What is safety culture?

“The safety culture of an organisation is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation’s safety management system (within the overall business management system).”

Adapted from ACSNI Human Factors Study Group: Third report - Organising for safety HSE Books 1993

Working Group Purpose

Safety Culture Working Group (SCWG) seeks to ‘Improve safety culture in safety critical organisations focussed on product and functional safety, by sharing examples and latest approaches collated from real life case studies’.

The Terms of Reference for the working group are available to registered members or on request from the group leader.


SCWG's current focus is to improve the following specific aspects of Safety Culture:

  • Measuring Safety Culture
  • Independent and repeatable assessment of Safety Culture
  • Safety Culture between organisations
  • Safety Culture in boards of large corporate organisations
  • Safety Culture in teams developing safety critical systems


If you would like to become a member of the SCWG, please contact the group leader at

Membership is open to all, and is done through nominations through an existing Working Group member or the group leaders. All memberships are approved by SCWG members based on individual's industry and experience of Safety Culture or Safety Critical Industries.

2023 Working Group Meetings

The group meets every 3 months. Our 2023 meetings are on:

  • 27th November 2023, 13:00-15:00 GMT

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 369 322 361 901     Passcode: ix4iPc 

Or call in (audio only)

+44 20 3443 6344,,287660415#   United Kingdom, London  Phone Conference ID: 287 660 415# 


Please email if you have any questions. All meetings are held on MS Teams 13:00-15:00 GMT.

Safety cuture assessment and improvement survey

Click on our SCWG survey page to see the results of our survey of organisational approaches to assessing and improving safety culture.

Past Webinars(recordings)

We have run two annual seminars and now also have a presentation at each of our quarterly workng group meetings.

2021 webinar

Our 2021 webinar (Safety Culture developments) was held on the 13th April, on Zoom, with a healthy attendance. The webinar looked at new developments in Safety Culture and results from the 2021 SCSC SCWG Online Survey.

See here for hhtps://

2022 webinar

Our 2022 webinar (Accident Investigation and safety culture) was held on the 27th april 2022 with excellent delegate feedback. The event had several themes, including:

  • Does learning from accidents support the improvement of safety performance?
  • How can you encourage learning from incidents and accidents?

These themes were set in the context of “Safety II” that addresses criticisms of what is characterised as “Safety I” including that: “… seeing deficiencies in hindsight does nothing to explain the generation or persistence of those deficiencies.”

The event presentations and recorded talks can be see at

The event summary was published in the May SCSC newsletter and can be see here: /file/gu-main/SCSC-Newsletter-Volume-30-Nos-2---May-2022-v2-47-54-1.pdf

November 2022 working group presentation

Our November 2022 Working Group meeting was privileged to receieve a presentation from Richard Folkes (OBE, FRAeS, BA Hon, EXON) Head of Aviation Safety/Accountable Manager (Military Flying) on safety culture at Leonardo Helicopters. The presentation was heard by 20 members and generated great interest, as an excellent example of how an organisation with a good safety record invested in a process of self-assessment and improvement.

The recorded presentation can be accessed via the link below:

February 2023 working group presentation

Dr Kathyrn Mearns presented "Measuring safety culture: Practices and Pitfalls". Dr Mearns has over 30 years academic and professional experience in safety culture, inluding 14.5 years with the University of Aberdeen, where she research safety climate, leadership and risk perception in high risk industries.  She gave a detailed presentation on the assessment of safety culture, covering how to measure culture, issues with these assessments, and lesons learned on how to conduct insightful and valid assessments of safety culture. Her presentation is shared below:

Measuring safety culture: Practices and pitfalls

May 2023 working group presentation

Paul Leach, Head of Human Factors at Rail Safety and Standards Board, presented a survey on how UK rail organisations approach the improvement of safety culture. It covered the types of initiatives adopted, how success is measured, chaallenges and lessons learned. The presentation is shared below:

Safety Culture practices in UK rail

September 2023 working group presentation

Somnath Pal presented on "Health and wellbeing management of train drivers".


Recommended viewing

Some interesting articles have been released by Paul Leach, a group member and safety culture specialist at Rail Safety and Standards Board, and Russell Keir, Vice Chair of the Railway Group at the Institution of Safety and Health (IOSH) on What is Safety Cuture?, How to develop a safe culture? and I'm Ready to Develop my Culture: Now What?

Some useful websites and online resources are listed below:

UK Health and Safety Executive



Energy including oil and gas





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