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Accident Analysis and Prevention

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Item response theory -- Applications to safety climate measurement, Industrial safety, Organizational behavior


Zohar and Luria’s (2005) safety climate (SC) scale, measuring organization- and group- level SC each with 16 items, is widely used in research and practice. To improve the utility of the SC scale, we shortened the original full-length SC scales. Item response theory (IRT) analysis was conducted using a sample of 29,179 frontline workers from various industries. Based on graded response models, we shortened the original scales in two ways: (1) selecting items with above-average discriminating ability (i.e. offering more than 6.25% of the original total scale information), resulting in 8-item organization-level and 11-item group-level SC scales; and (2) selecting the most informative items that together retain at least 30% of original scale information, resulting in 4-item organization-level and 4-item group-level SC scales. All four shortened scales had acceptable reliability (≥0.89) and high correlations ( ≥ 0.95) with the original scale scores. The shortened scales will be valuable for academic research and practical survey implementation in improving occupational safety.


© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (



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