Assessment of safety culture at a nuclear reprocessing plant.

Terence Richard Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a detailed survey of attitudes towards safety at the Sellafield site of British Nuclear Fuels in Cumbria. Focus groups were held to elicit safety-relevant beliefs, attitudes and values, and the material was incorporated into a 172-item questionnaire administered as part of the monthly team briefings, and preceded by an explanatory video. Data were collected in this survey from 5296 participants. The questions covered nine domains of safety, i.e. safety procedures, risks,job satisfaction, safety rules, participation, training, control, and design of plant. Each domain was analysed by principal components analysis and 38 factors were extracted. The 19 accounting for most variance were analysed. Factor scores were validated against reported number of lost-time accidents and most discriminated at high levels of significance. Various methods for analysing the data are described. Results were compared with a 'generic' analysis of the whole data set, which produced 42 factors. These were then processed by secondary factor analysis, but the results of both methods showed the original 'domain' analysis to be superior. A reduced version with 81 items performed as well as the original and a considerable improvement in validity was obtained by using discriminant function coefficients to weight items in regression scores in place of factor loadings. The data were analysed and feedback was provided for relevant subgroups, i.e. gender, age, length of service, active area involvement, days/shifts, departments, general type of work and eight specific job types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-237
Number of pages21
JournalWork and Stress
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998


  • safety
  • attitudes
  • validation
  • safety culture


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of safety culture at a nuclear reprocessing plant.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this