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Table H.1.3. Study #3: Edkins, G. D. The INDICATE safety program: Evaluation of a method to proactively improve airline safety performance, Safety Science. 1998; 30(3): 275-295.

Research Question:

To evaluate effectiveness of INDICATE safety program in improving airline safety performance.

Experimental Design: NON-RANDOMIZED TRIAL

Non-randomized trial with two groups, pre- and post-intervention (8 months) measures. Sample Characteristics:

INDUSTRY: Airline passenger transportation WORKPLACE (TYPE and NUMBER): 1 regional airline in Australia - 2 sites (regional centres): 1 control, 1 intervention SIZE: Intervention - 81 staff; Control - 72 staff. OCCUPATIONS: not explicitly described, but text suggested that it included pilots, cabin crew, ground crew, and maintenance. SAMPLING METHOD: not described, but likely convenience.

Maintenance of Sample: The two worksites were maintained throughout the study, with the same staffing levels. Intervention: VOLUNTARY OHSMS

8 month trial (starting July 1995)

Intervention Group INDICATE Program:

  • 1.

    Operational safety manager that: coordinated meetings with mgmt; oriented staff to INDICATE program; coordinated safety training; encouraged staff to use confidential safety reporting system; served as confidential contact for staff on safety issues; served as technical resource to staff and management; communicated safety information to staff; participated in incident investigations; evaluated and improved safety program.

  • 2.

    Focus group discussions with "as many company staff and management as possible" to identify hazards local to their area, assess the associated level of risk, evaluate the current defences for dealing with those risks, and make recommendations for remedial safety action.

  • 3.

    Confidential hazard reporting system. Staff can report any concerns about safety including witnessing or experiencing unsafe work practices, or identifying deficient safety equipment. Reports flow to safety manager, who investigates and enters information into INDICATE software and gives feedback to reportee.

  • 4.

    Regular safety meetings. Purpose of the meetings is to manage, monitor, and address identified hazards in conjunction with managers.

  • 5.

    Safety information database. This is a tool for safety manager that facilitates i) tracking hazards for each area; ii) issuing recommendations and monitoring action on them; iii) outputting summaries.

  • 6.

    Communication of safety information with staff. Multiple methods were used including: safety newsletter; safety notice board; impromptu safety briefings; distribution of minutes; and a safety reading file with an account of action taken on hazards.

Institute for Work & Health


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