Measuring Safety Culture: Identifying and Leveraging Leading Indicators to Improve Performance

Friday • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM • Location: Ryman Studio G

Chuck Pettinger, Ph.D.
Process Change Leader
Predictive Solutions

There are many assessments meant to identify cultural gaps. Most have no statistical reliability or validity, but they sound good. Some truly assess safety climate but are only used every 1-2 years. This workshop will discuss groundbreaking work in developing a real-time “cultural pulse” survey to anonymously measure perceptions in real-time and teach you how to create your own valid survey. The challenge is to identify which critical cultural factors to measure, and which other leading indicators can help proactively identify safety risks, increase engagement, reduce churn, and eliminate injuries.

Learning Outcomes: 

  1. Understand the differences between corporate climate and culture
  2. Learn techniques to assess an organization’s safety culture/climate
  3. Identify which leading indicators can act as cultural proxies to help identify gaps
Chuck Pettinger has over 30 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating culture step-change initiatives. His major interests include developing large-scale corporate behavior change processes, assessing industrial safety cultures, using advanced predictive analytics to develop leading indicators and conducting organizational Leadership Workshops.

Chuck has consulted with a wide variety of industries including Bayer, Bechtel, BD Biosciences, Bombardier, Caterpillar, Chevron, Coca-Cola, Cummins, ExxonMobil, Honeywell, Kiewit, Kaiser Permanente, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Monsanto, NSTAR, National Grid, Pfizer, PP&L, Southern Company, Turner, TVA, Union Pacific, United Rentals & Xcel Energy.

Chuck earned his bachelor’s from the University of Florida, his masters from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his doctorate from Virginia Tech under Dr. E. Scott Geller. Before joining Predictive Solutions, Chuck was a Senior Project Manager with the Safety Performance Solutions and a Grant Project Manager with Virginia Tech. While at Virginia Tech, Chuck completed many research grants including a two-year project funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health titled "Critical Aspects of Behavior-Based Safety."

Chuck is a Certified Behavior Analyst and has served as a Behavioral Program Specialist for the State of Florida and other private industries. In addition to being twice named 101 Top Leaders in Safety by ISHN, Chuck has authored many training/technical manuals while designing, customizing and developing training materials for use in industry and government agencies. In addition, he has numerous published abstracts and papers and many scheduled speaking engagements at professional conferences yearly, including invited international multi-day workshops in Africa, Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, India and Singapore.


  • Developing large-scale corporate culture change initiatives
  • Coaching leadership in the creation of a continuous improvement safety culture
  • Designing, implementing, and evaluating safety improvement initiatives for inspections, audits and behavioral observations
  • Applying next generation predictive analytics to develop leading indicators to predict injuries and save lives