A socio-cultural analysis of building and improving safety culture : case study of the maritime industry in Sri Lanka / by Prasad Manjula Hettiarachchie.
The aim of this study is to determine the influential power of some cultural and social factors which could uplift the Safety Culture in the Sri Lankan maritime industry and to examine the underlying factors which contributed to the evolution of Safety in the maritime sector. This research has been done using amixed method approach and the researcher used a questionnaire to collect data from 101 employees attached to three key organizations inthe Sri Lankan maritime industry. Out of the six areas of the questionnaire, the first one focused on identifying the evolution of safety in this industry and the remaining five were focused on five key parameters which were widely used by previous researchers to measure safety culture. The analysis of the responses confirmed that safety in maritime industry in Sri Lanka has been significantly improved in the last two decades. However,it has shown some areas where the administrators have to focus in order to further the development of safety in the industry. Top management commitment to safety is one key area which has achieved a higher level of satisfaction. However this commitment has not been able to capture the same attention in middle level managers and their subordinates. Apart from that, risk communication, employee empowerment, and risk perceptions of employees are some of the areas which are not on par with the required level. It is also noted that trade union support to make the working environment safe is relatively poor and employees’ risk acceptance level is high. It is also noted that the peer-pressure against unsafe acts and legal framework against industrial safety are also not at a satisfactory level. This paper presents real world data collected from employees who are currently engaged in the maritime industry. The quantitative data were statistically analyzed and qualitative data were analyzed using Grounded Theory approach.