Saf Health Work.  2014 Jun;5(2):53-59. 10.1016/j.shaw.2014.03.002.

Knowledge Management and Safety Compliance in a High-Risk Distributed Organizational System

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Social Science, International Research Institute of Stavanger, Bergen, Norway. ljg@iris.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND
In a safety perspective, efficient knowledge management is important for learning purpose
s and thus to prevent errors from occurring repeatedly. The relationship between knowledge exchange among employees and safety behavior may be of particular importance in distributed organizational systems where similar high-risk activities take place at several locations. This study develops and tests hypotheses concerning the relationship between knowledge exchange systems usage, knowledge exchange in the organizational system, and safety compliance.
METHODS
The operational context of the study is petroleum drilling and well operations involving distributed high-risk activities. The hypotheses are tested by use of survey data collected from a large petroleum operator company and eight of its main contractors.
RESULTS
The results show that safety compliance is influenced by use of knowledge exchange systems and degree of knowledge exchange in the organizational system, both within and between units. System usage is the most important predictor, and safety compliance seems to be more strongly related to knowledge exchange within units than knowledge exchange between units.
CONCLUSION
Overall, the study shows that knowledge management is central for safety behavior.

Keyword

knowledge exchange; knowledge exchange systems; knowledge management; organizational safety; safety compliance
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