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Findings From the National Machine Guarding Program: Safety Climate, Hazard Assessment, and Safety Leadership in Small Metal Fabrication Businesses

Parker, David L. MD, MPH; Yamin, Samuel MPH; Xi, Min PhD; Gordon, Robert MA; Most, Ivan ScD, PE; Stanley, Rod BS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 12 - p 1172–1179
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001166
Original Articles

Objectives: This manuscript assesses safety climate data from the National Machine Guarding Program (NMGP)—a nationwide intervention to improve machine safety.

Methods: Baseline safety climate surveys were completed by 2161 employees and 341 owners or managers at 115 businesses. A separate onsite audit of safety management practices and machine guarding equipment was conducted at each business.

Results: Safety climate measures were not correlated with machine guarding or safety management practices. The presence of a safety committee was correlated with higher scores on the safety management audit when contrasted with those without one.

Conclusions: The presence of a safety committee is easily assessed and provides a basis on which to make recommendations with regard to how it functions. Measures of safety climate fail to provide actionable information. Future research on small manufacturing firms should emphasize the presence of an employee-management safety committee.

HealthPartners Institute, Bloomington, Minnesota (Dr Parker, Mr Yamin, Dr Xi, Mr Gordon); School of Public Health, University of New England (Dr Most); Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company, Loss Control Division (Mr Stanley), Portland, Maine.

Address correspondences to: David L. Parker, MD, MPH, HealthPartners Institute, 3311 E. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN 55425 (

Source of Funding: Dr Parker, Mr Yamin, Dr Xi, Mr Gordon, and Dr Most received funding support through U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) grant 5R01 OH003884-10.

The authors do not have any competing interests/conflicts of interest.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine