The impact of organisational safety culture on the management of safety health and environment(SHE) in the electricity distribution industry of Zambia

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Mambwe, Mwewa
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The University of Zambia
Organisational Safety Culture has increasingly come to the fore as an important aspect of Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) Management. Scanty literature could be found on the application of the concept within the electricity industry in Zambia. Literature reviewed showed that the state of safety in Zambia‘s electricity industry has been placed under the spotlight after a number of accidents that caused an outcry among workers. The study evaluated the impact of organisational safety culture factors on SHE management and sought to improve electricity safety in the Zambia‘s electricity distribution operation. Further, the study developed a theoretical model from the literature available that evaluated safety culture of an electricity distribution operation. The approach for the research was quantitative and descriptive. The empirical study was done by using a questionnaire as a measuring instrument. The target population consisted of operational staff, which included managers and workers, of a government electrical distribution operation company, one private owned company and the contractors that render services to these power companies. The convenience sampling method was applied when identifying participants. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS and Microsoft Excel. Descriptive statistics was applied in compiling results. Further analysis compared the perceptions of various groups within the sample, which included contractors, managers and workers. The relationships between some of the factors were explored to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of organisational factors that influence safety management. The findings yielded a useful model for evaluating the safety culture of the electricity distribution operation, and highlighted strong relationships between shared safety values, management involvement and the safety culture of the organisations. The research also showed that there was no significant difference in the culture perceptions of contractors and workers working in the electricity sector. Significant differences were however found between managers‘ perceptions of safety culture and the perceptions of workers. The importance of the study is that it will help managers understand the embraced values that can be used to steer the organisation towards an improved safety culture.
Organisational safety--Management--Zambia , Safety management--Electricity industry--Zambia