Workplace road safety and culture: safety practices for employees and the community

Sharon Newnam, Carlyn Muir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Road trauma remains a significant concern internationally. Traffic crashes rank within the top three leading causes of death for individuals aged between 15-44 years old, with nonfatal casualties occurring at around 30 times the rate of fatal incidents. Historically, road safety research has not captured factors relating to driving purpose. However, more recently, researchers have focused on the importance of driving for work. Over a third of traffic volume represents commuting or driving in the line of employment; improving workplace road safety practices represents a tangi¬ble way of reducing road trauma. This chapter considers the link between safety culture and best practice in workplace road safety. It is argued that best practice is not a term to define individual safety practices, but a system of practices that create a culture of safety. This research uses data collected on organizations workplace road safety practices within the Australian con¬text. This data has been collected by the National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP); an initiative that constitutes a network of organizations and academics working together to develop a positive road safety culture. Twenty-four case studies are presented of organizations that have imple¬mented workplace road safety programs to improve their safe driving cul¬ture. Qualitative analysis was conducted to systematically categorize the safety initiatives and their indicators of success. Almost all case studies expressed the importance of developing a safety-first culture in the work¬place. Third-party regulation, internal policy and corporate social responsi¬bility form the foundation of workplace safety. However, it was the culture and attitude towards the safety initiatives that achieved effectiveness in the long-term. The findings of this research support the argument that best practice is best achieved when integrated within a culture that values and prioritizes safety, rather than implemented in isolation to other elements in the workplace system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTraffic Safety Culture
Subtitle of host publicationDefinition, Foundation and Application
EditorsNicholas John Ward, Barry Watson, Katie Fleming-Vogl
Place of PublicationBingley UK
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781787146174, 9781787432499
ISBN (Print)9781787146181
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Fleet safety
  • Safety
  • Safety culture
  • Workplace road safety

Cite this