What is the S-CAT?

The S-CAT was jointly developed by researchers at CPWR: The Center for Construction Research and Training and Washington State University Vancouver. The S-CAT is the product of a multi-year effort — incorporating extensive input from numerous construction stakeholders, as well as decades of findings documented in the scientific and trade literatures — to better understand the indicators of safety climate within the construction industry. Click on the dates below to see our progress over the years.

Understand status of safety climate/culture in construction from published sources

Reviewed peer-reviewed and trade literatures to see what’s been written about safety climate/safety culture (SC) in construction.  Found a lack of agreement on 3 issues:

  1. The definitions of safety culture and safety climate
  2. The indicators of safety culture and safety climate
  3. Ideas for improving safety culture and safety climate

Understand status of safety climate/culture in construction from industry experts

Invited 70 construction industry stakeholders to attend a workshop (Safety Climate and Safety Culture in Construction: Bridging the Gap from Research to Construction) to come to consensus on those 3 issues.

Compile and disseminate learnings to-date

Disseminated workshop report describing workshop activities and participant recommendations. Workshop Report (PDF)

Compiled findings from extensive literature review. Literature Review

Create a practical Safety Climate workbook

Developed a practical workbook (Strengthening Jobsite Safety Climate by Using and Improving Leading Indicators) that construction companies can use to conduct a high-level assessment of their safety climate maturity across 8 key leading indicators identified in the workshop and learn about ideas for improving them.

Develop, test, and finalize S-CAT

Using the workbook safety climate scales as a starting point, created an expanded set of items companies can use to more precisely measure safety climate maturity across the 8 indicators.  Statistical tests showed high reliability and validity, with S-CAT scores predicting company injury rates.

Update workbook and develop S-CAT website

Updated worksheets based on stakeholder input and added the S-CAT to the workbook. Created a website where individuals and company employees can anonymously complete the S-CAT and receive a personalized company-level report long with benchmarking data and targeted recommendations for improvement.

CPWR Safety Climate Workbook

Meet the CPWR Team Members

Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar

Dr. Linda M. Goldenhar

Director of Research and Evaluation at CPWR: Center for Construction Research and Training

Her areas of expertise include safety climate/culture in construction, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and intervention evaluation. Her work has appeared in both academic and trade publications and she has been invited to present at national and international academic conferences as well as construction association meetings including the AGC, ABC, ASSE, and NSC among others.  She was a member of the National Academy of Sciences review of NIOSH’s construction research program.
Eileen Betit

Eileen Betit

Director of Research to Practice (r2p) at CPWR: Center for Construction Research and Training

Since 2010, she has been working on CPWR’s r2p initiative with a focus on expanding the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in r2p, and developing dissemination tools and resources that can be used to advance technology transfer and increase the use of evidence-based interventions. She has more than 25 years of experience working with construction contractors and labor unions to identify and address safety and health concerns, and develop communications materials and products to increase their use of safer equipment and work practices.

CPWR: The Center for Construction Research and Training

CPWR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to construction safety and health research and training, and currently serves as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) National Construction Center.  In this capacity, CPWR works to reduce or eliminate occupational safety and health hazards faced by construction workers through safety and health research and the development of a broad array of training programs.

Meet the WSU Vancouver Team Members


Dr. Tahira Probst

Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at
Washington State University Vancouver

Dr. Probst’s research expertise is in the area of occupational health and safety. Her research has received national attention from major news outlets and has been disseminated in trade magazines such as Aerosafety World, Industrial Engineer,Occupational Hazards, HR News, OH&S CanadaOccupational HealthManagement; and WebMD. She was a Visiting Scholar at the United Nation’s International Labor Organization and served as a Research Consultant for the National Academies Institute of Medicine on their project to evaluate workplace wellness programs at NASA.
jesse (2)

Jesse Lee Byrd

Graduate student in the doctoral Psychology program at
Washington State University Vancouver

Jesse’s research specialties are organizational intervention research, production pressure and effective leadership models. Jesse has 8 years of construction industry experience working in roofing, electrical, framing, and plumbing. He also worked as the assistant lead mechanic for facilities construction and maintenance at Pacific Lutheran University responsible for small engine repair, and fleet vehicle maintenance.

Washington State University

Founded in 1890 as a land-grant institution, Washington State University is a public research university committed to its tradition of service to society. Central to that mission is the application of knowledge through community engagement to improve quality of life and enhance the economy of the state of Washington.

Coalition for Healthy and Equitable Workplaces

The Coalition for Healthy and Equitable Workplaces (CHEW) on the Vancouver campus of WSU has been led by Dr. Tahira Probst since 1998 and has a strong history of meaningful community and organizational partnerships with the goal of improving employee well-being. CHEW projects are developed in collaboration with participating organizations to ensure that both science and practice needs are met. Research initiatives in the lab investigate organizational, workgroup, supervisor and employee factors that influence safety attitudes, behaviors and injury outcomes. This includes examining the impact of organizational safety climate, production pressure, supervisor safety leadership, and economic stressors on employee health and safety.

Take the S-CAT today and get started on improving your safety climate!