Kathryn Mearns

Kathryn Mearns
UK Health and Safety Executive · Energy Division

MA Psychology & PhD Biology

About

89
Publications
35,049
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7,864
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - present
The London School of Economics and Political Science
January 1999 - December 2013
University of Aberdeen

Publications

Publications (89)
Chapter
Human Factors is a multifaceted discipline incorporating ergonomics, engineering psychology, human–machine interaction, the working environment, and human and organizational factors. This chapter provides definitions of the terms associated with human factors, including human error and performance influencing factors. It then discusses the techniqu...
Article
Employee safety citizenship behaviors are crucial to risk management in safety-critical industries, and identifying ways to encourage them is a priority. This study examines (i) whether safety citizenship behaviors are a product of social exchanges between employees and organizations, and (ii) the organizational exchanges (i.e. actual activities to...
Article
Full-text available
In two studies we examine whether Psychological Capital (PsyCap) is related to perceptions of safety climate and job satisfaction among maritime workers from three Norwegian shipping companies. Results from Study 1 (N = 486) and Study 2 (N = 594) showed that PsyCap was positively associated with – and explained between 10% and 12% of the variance i...
Article
There is increasing interest in applying the concept of safety culture in Air Traffic Management (ATM). Using a mixed methods approach, this paper describes the development of a safety culture management toolkit that uses questionnaires and safety culture feedback workshops. The development process involved four phases. Phase 1 involved a review of...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose ‐ This study aims to examine how authentic leadership relates to risk perception in safety critical organizations (SCOs). It is hypothesized that authentic leaders influence risk perception through the mediating effect of safety climate. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Using a survey design, the variables were assessed in a cross-sectional sa...
Article
OBJECTIVES: To obtain a measure of hospital safety climate from a sample of National Health Service (NHS) acute hospitals in Scotland and to test whether these scores were associated with worker safety behaviors, and patient and worker injuries. METHODS: Data were from 1,866 NHS clinical staff in six Scottish acute hospitals. A Scottish Hospital Sa...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that psychological capital (PsyCap) is associated with desired employee behavioral and performance outcomes. Extending previous research, we examine, in two studies, if the PsyCap of Norwegian air traffic controllers is related to their perceptions of safety climate. Based on bootstrapping procedures, results from Study...
Article
The aim of this study is to assess the effect of proximity and time pressure on accurate and effective visual search during medication selection from a computer screen. The presence of multiple similar objects in proximity to a target object increases the difficulty of a visual search. Visual similarity between drug names can also lead to selection...
Article
There is increasing interest in applying the concept of safety culture in Air Traffic Management (ATM). Using a mixed methods approach, this paper describes the development of a safety culture management toolkit that uses questionnaires and safety culture feedback workshops. The development process involved four phases. Phase 1 involved a review of...
Article
The impact of patient aggression on healthcare staff has been an important research topic over the past decade. However, the majority of that research has focused primarily on hospital staff, with only a minority of studies examining staff in primary care settings such as pharmacies or doctors' surgeries. Moreover, whilst there is an indication tha...
Article
An exploratory study was carried out in three European countries – Denmark, United Kingdom and the Netherlands – concerning the safety of migrant workers, especially those coming from Eastern European countries. Special attention was given to the relationship between safety and the national background of migrant workers. Forty-four interviews with...
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Full-text available
Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria are an increasingly common occurrence in inland and coastal waters used for recreational purposes. These mass populations pose serious risks to human and animal health and impose potentially significant economic costs on society. In this study, we used contingent valuation (CV) methods to elicit pub...
Article
Background: Community pharmacists are an important link between methadone patients and the health service in the United Kingdom. However, many pharmacists feel ill prepared to deal with methadone patients, with aggressive behavior a particular concern. Objective: To assess the perceived impact of methadone patient aggression on pharmacy practice...
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In this theory-driven literature review we examine how leadership and emerging research in positive organizational behaviour (POB) may inform our understanding of human mechanisms that affect safety outcomes. According to authentic leadership theory, leader self-awareness and self-regulation processes are vital mechanisms in the leader–follower exc...
Article
The primary objective was to analyse reported dispensing errors, and contributing factors, in Scottish National Health Service hospitals by coding and quantifying error reports from the DATIX patient-safety software. The secondary objective was to gather managerial responses to dispensing error in order to gain a perspective on interventions alread...
Article
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This study examines social and moral norms towards the intention to comply with hand hygiene among Portuguese medical students from 1st and 6th years (N = 175; 121 from the 1st year, 54 from the 6th year). The study extended the theory of planned behaviour theoretical principles and hypothesised that both subjective and moral norms will be the best...
Article
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The ability of medical teams to develop and maintain team situation awareness (team SA) is crucial for patient safety. Limited research has investigated team SA within clinical environments. This study reports the development of a method for investigating team SA during the intensive care unit (ICU) round and describes the results. In one ICU, a sa...
Article
To investigate the psychometric properties of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture on a Scottish NHS data set. The data were collected from 1969 clinical staff (estimated 22% response rate) from one acute hospital from each of seven Scottish Health boards. Using a split-half validation technique, the data were randomly split; an explorator...
Article
Nielsen, M. B., Mearns, K., Matthiesen, S. B. & Eid, J. (2011). Using the Job Demands–Resources model to investigate risk perception, safety climate and job satisfaction in safety critical organizations. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 52, 465–475. Using the Job Demands–Resources model (JD-R) as a theoretical framework, this study investigated t...
Article
The relationship between investment in employee health and non-health outcomes has received little research attention. Drawing from social exchange and climate theory, the current study uses a multilevel approach to examine the implications of worksite health investment for worksite safety and health climate and employee safety compliance and commi...
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Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship among sources of stress, coping strategy, job satisfaction and psychological well-being and to examine the roles of coping behaviour as the moderator variable. Design/methodology/approach – The study uses a questionnaire survey and area sampling design, with responses of 617 Malaysi...
Article
Senior managers significantly influence organisational outcomes and play a pivotal role in shaping organisational culture. This research focuses on the mechanisms by which senior managers can effectively promote organisational safety, including a proactive safety culture. This paper, informed by research for a doctoral thesis sponsored by the Energ...
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Full-text available
Abstract Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria commonly develop in fresh-, brackish- and marine waters and effective strategies for monitoring and managing cyanobacterial health risks are required to safeguard animal and human health. A multi-interdisciplinary study, including two UK freshwaters with a history of toxic cyanobacterial b...
Article
To improve patient safety, medical students should be taught about human error and the factors influencing adverse events. The optimal evaluation of new curricula for patient safety requires tools for baseline measurement of medical students' attitudes and knowledge. The aim of the study was to design and evaluate a questionnaire for measuring the...
Article
This article reports a qualitative interview study of 31 employees, with and without leadership responsibility, employed in a Norwegian petroleum company. Health, safety and environment (HSE) culture was a new concept and the aim of this study was to gain insight into how the workers conceptualized the concept, different aspects of HSE culture and...
Conference Paper
Health and safety are often discussed in the same breath but the relationships between them are not clearly articulated. The current study was conducted in the UK offshore oil and gas industry, a physically and mentally challenging work environment, where the well-being of personnel is important for their performance. This paper will describe the d...
Article
This paper addresses the issue of occupational safety and how the process of globalisation can potentially influence the attitudes, beliefs and behaviour of disparate ‘national’ workforces working across the globe for the same multi-national company. The paper reviews published literature on cross-cultural differences in attitudes, perceptions and...
Article
In his article 'Thinking about Process Indicators' Andrew Hop- kins has questioned our understanding of what constitute leading and lagging indicators of safety. He has drawn attention to the highly-regarded and influential Baker report into the Texas City Disaster of 2005 and to the UK Health and Safety Executive's guid- ance on leading and laggin...
Article
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Risk management is an integral part of industrial business due to its high environmental, human, legal and financial implications, especially in the oil and gas industry. There are two dimensions to risk management: technical mechanisms and human behaviours. The technical risk management systems have been developed highly. Organizations are now foc...
Article
There is a growing literature on the relationship between teamwork and patient outcomes in intensive care, providing new insights into the skills required for effective team performance. The purpose of this review is to consolidate the most robust findings from this research into an intensive care unit (ICU) team performance framework. Studies inve...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the approach used to develop a Safety Culture Measurement Toolkit (SCMT) for European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). The concept of safety culture has achieved increasing currency over the past twenty years and is now applied extensively in a number of high reliability industries including nuclear, oil and gas, manuf...
Article
Senior managers have been described as a 'neglected species' in safety research, yet their influence on organisational performance is frequently examined in relation to productivity and financial success. The Energy Institute is now sponsoring a research project on senior managers' safety leadership in the oil and gas industry. This paper presents...
Article
This descriptive study investigated team communication behaviours and perceptions of involvement in decision-making during the ICU round. A combination of self-report and observational measures were made during the review of patients. Observations focused (during each patient review) on i) the frequency of verbal communication behaviours made by ju...
Article
The usefulness of safety climate as a diagnostic tool ought to reside in its ability to identify detailed and precise difficulties that can be considered critical to improving safety. This feature depends on the theoretical analysis of the agents and issues that should be included in safety climate statements. Safety climate can be analysed from th...
Article
The present study explores the relationship between perceived organizational support and health support from supervisors and workmates, and ‘safety citizenship behaviour’ (SCB) in offshore employees. It is hypothesised that high levels of support reflecting care in the organization about employee well-being will lead to more positive safety behavio...
Article
Interest in the safety leadership skills of supervisors and managers does not seem to have been extended to senior managers, who have been described as a 'neglected species' in safety research. There are a few studies emerging from other sectors but very little from the energy sector. The Energy Institute has recently sponsored a new research proje...
Article
Full-text available
To change the culture of healthcare organisations and improve patient safety, new professionals need to be taught about adverse events and how to trap and mitigate against errors. A literature review did not reveal any patient safety courses in the core undergraduate medical curriculum. Therefore a new module was designed and piloted. A 5-h evidenc...
Article
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Patient safety research has shown poor communication among intensive care unit (ICU) nurses and doctors to be a common causal factor underlying critical incidents in intensive care. This study examines whether ICU doctors and nurses have a shared perception of interdisciplinary communication in the UK ICU. Cross-sectional survey of ICU nurses and d...
Article
This research aimed to test the relative value of developing and using job-specific facets of effort and testing them using J. Siegrist's (1996) effort-reward imbalance (ERI) theory to extend understanding of how one might determine job strain in urban bus driving. In addition, the interactive effects of the ERI model are further investigated to ad...
Article
The study, conducted in the offshore oil industry (N=1374), sought to examine how the management of health risks in the workplace is assessed and evaluated by the workforce and how these practices influence health climate, safety climate and risk-taking behaviours. Results suggest that employees at worksites engaging in positive health risk managem...
Article
Full-text available
Safety culture is an important topic for managers in high-hazard industries because a deficient safety culture has been linked to organizational accidents. Many researchers have argued that trust plays a central role in models of safety culture but trust has rarely been measured in safety culture/climate studies. This article used explicit (direct)...
Article
Full-text available
In many industrial settings, the situation awareness (SA) of workers needs to be maintained at a high level to ensure the safety of their operation. This is particularly relevant to offshore oil-drilling and gas-drilling crews, given the interactive and hazardous nature of their work. This paper presents a review of SA in drilling incidents and res...
Article
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The importance of theory in underpinning interventions to promote effective professional practice is gaining recognition. The Medical Research Council framework for complex interventions has assisted in promoting awareness and adoption of theory into study design. Human error theory has previously been used by high risk industries but its relevance...
Article
UK evidence-based guidelines recommend helping those with asthma to control their symptoms through education and individualised, written action plans. Training professionals to help a range of patients with individual disease characteristics, personal attributes and lifestyles may be an important factor in asthma management. Training in patient-cen...
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Full-text available
To review quantitative studies of safety climate in health care to examine the psychometric properties of the questionnaires designed to measure this construct. A systematic literature review was undertaken to study sample and questionnaire design characteristics (source, no of items, scale type), construct validity (content validity, factor struct...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research into human factors causes of accidents in the oil and gas industry has indicated lack of care and attention as a main cause. One particular factor that may contribute is reduced situation awareness (SA) of those concerned. Despite the importance of SA in accident prevention, little research has investigated the effects of work factors upon...
Article
This review paper consolidates the key research on the occupational health of urban bus drivers since the 1950s. Several electronic databases were searched and 27 key studies were identified, which form the basis of this paper. Early findings that bus drivers are liable to suffer ill health as a result of the job remain true today. The research has...
Article
There are numerous diverse papers that have addressed issues within maritime safety; to date there has been no comprehensive review of this literature to aggregate the causal factors within accidents in shipping and surmise current knowledge. This paper reviewed the literature on safety in three key areas: common themes of accidents, the influence...
Article
The behaviour of start feed brown trout, Salmo trutla, and Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, fry was observed in response to 5, 50 and 500 nM concentrations of L-alanine, L-proline, L-arginine and glycine. In addition, salmon fry were tested with dilute concentrations of shrimp extract. Five behaviour patterns (snap, yawn, dart, twitch movements and ac...
Article
This project was designed to assess health climate offshore and to evaluate its impact upon the health behaviour, organizational citizenship behaviours, safety behaviour, organizational commitment and accident involvement of offshore workers on the UKCS. The Offshore Safety Division of the UK Health and Safety Executive’s Hazardous Installations Di...
Article
In an attempt to improve the investigation of the human factors causes of accidents in the UK offshore oil and gas industry, a Human Factors Investigation Tool (HFIT) was developed with the sponsorship of the UK Regulator, the Health and Safety Executive, and four exploration-related companies. The tool was developed on a theoretical basis with ref...
Conference Paper
A deficient safety culture has been implicated in industrial accidents. More recently, patient safety problems in hospital care have revealed a weak safety culture as a causal factor. As in the other industrial sectors, the level of safety for hospital patients and staff is likely to be determined largely by the hospital's safety culture. Measuring...
Article
The UK and Norwegian offshore worker's evaluations of the social and organizational factors that can have effect upon safety on offshore installations were compared. Risk perception, satisfaction with safety measures, perceptions of social support, attitudes of safety, perceptions of the job situation and perceptions of the other's commitment to sa...
Article
Full-text available
Much work involved on offshore installations has the capacity to be hazardous, and despite many rules and regulations in place to ensure that accident risk is kept to a minimum, accidents still occur. One factor known in other industries (e.g. aviation) to contribute to the occurrence of accidents is a reduction in the ‘situation awareness’ (SA) of...
Article
Safety climate surveys were conducted on 13 offshore oil and gas installations in separate years (N=682 and 806, respectively), with nine installations common to both years. In addition, data on safety management practices were collected by questionnaire from senior management on eight installations in each year. The associations between management...
Article
The aviation industry recognised the significance of human error in accidents in the 1970s, and has been instrumental in the development of special training, designed to reduce error and increase the effectiveness of flight crews. These crew resource management (CRM) programmes focus on “non-technical skills” critical for enhanced operational perfo...
Article
In recent years, increasing emphasis has been placed on the role of context and culture in shaping both the perception and experience of risk. Evidence from a number of industrial psychology studies indicates that workers' perceptions of risk are influenced by the context and culture of their work environment, leading to different 'worlds of risk'...
Article
Collecting information from incidents regarding their human and organisational causes is undertaken by the majority of oil industry related companies. However, many of the companies use various sets of human factors codes, which tend to be limited in quantity and depth. In an attempt to improve the investigation of the human factors causes of accid...
Article
Engineers in the UK offshore oil industry endeavour to analyse the causes of accidents with regard to the human and organisational factors. However, their expertise tends to lie in the analysis of the technical failures. In an attempt to improve the investigation of the human factors causes of accidents, a human factors investigation system was dev...
Article
Full-text available
Safety climate is an important element of organizational reliability. This study applied benchmarking strategies for monitoring safety climate across nine North Sea oil and gas installations that were surveyed in consecutive years. Examination of absolute changes in safety climate complemented the benchmarking approach. Discriminant function analys...
Article
The role of human and organizational factors in predicting accidents and incidents has become of major interest to the UK offshore oil and gas industry. Some of these factors had been measured in an earlier study focusing on the role of risk perception in determining accident involvement. The current study sought to extend the methodology by focusi...
Article
In UK industry, particularly in the energy sector, there has been a movement away from ‘lagging’ measures of safety based on retrospective data, such as lost time accidents and incidents, towards ‘leading’ or predictive assessments of the safety climate of the organisation or worksite. A number of different instruments have been developed by indust...
Article
This paper describes a project sponsored by 13 companies and the HSE (OSD) to apply a form of human factors training called Crew Resource Management (CRM), which is widely used in aviation, to the training of offshore platform teams. The aim of the project is to design and evaluate the training to improve safety, productivity, and to reduce down ti...
Article
This article explores the concepts of safety culture and safety climate in an attempt to determine which is the more useful for describing an organization's “state of safety.” From a review of the literature purporting to measure safety culture or safety climate, it is argued that, although the two terms are often interchangeable, they are actually...
Article
The primary objectives of the 1997 Woodside Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Perception Survey were to establish the perceptions and experiences of employees with regard to health, safety and environment, to generate a baseline series of data on the HSE culture of Woodside and to benchmark Woodside with the perceptions of employees working for...
Article
The human and organizational factors affecting safety were examined on 10 offshore installations using the Offshore Safety Questionnaire. The questionnaire contained scales measuring work pressure and work clarity, job communication, safety behaviour, risk perception, satisfaction with safety measures and safety attitudes. A total of 722 UK offshor...
Article
Recent developments in the UK offshore oil and gas industry have focused on leading rather than lagging indicators for safety. One method of assessing the state of safety on a given installation is to assess the prevailing safety climate, by asking the workforce about their attitudes to risk, safety management, supervision, procedural compliance et...
Article
The European and North American airlines now use a specialized form of human factors training for pilots, ground and cabin crew, called Crew Resource Management (CRM). It is mandatory in the UK that all airline pilots undertake CRM training. CRM emerged as a result of accident analysis (e.g. Tenerife air disaster) which showed that human factors re...
Article
Knowledge of the workforce's risk perceptions and attitudes to safety is necessary for the development of a safety culture, where each person accepts responsibility for working safely. The ACSNI Human Factors report stresses the importance of assessing workforce perceptions of risk to achieve a proper safety culture. Risk perception research has be...
Article
In the past, industrial accidents were reported mainly in terms of technological malfunctions and the human element in accident causation tended to be ignored. Since the frequency of technological failures has diminished, the role of human error has become much more obvious. Preliminary investigations into the accident reporting forms used by some...