search Change language (Se den danske version af denne side)

Interpreting the Nordic Occupational Safety Climate Questionnaire NOSACQ-50 results

The results of the NOSACQ-50 reflect the participants' perceptions of the safety climate, and not necessarily the actual conditions. The survey provides a 'snapshot' of conditions that can easily change.

Please ensure you have read the soft guidelines, and remember the survey results should be seen as a tool for dialogue and development – not as a “grade book”. The results reflect the participants' perceptions of the safety climate, and not necessarily the actual conditions. The survey provides a 'snapshot' of conditions that can easily change. The results should therefore be interpreted carefully. There are no standard solutions to the problems, and it is important to distinguish between basic conditions of work that are “part of the job” (e.g. outdoor weather effects) and factors that can/should be changed.

NOSACQ-50 results are best compared with (in prioritised order):

A) The scale mean: The mathematical mean for the scale 1-2-3-4 is 2.5. So in principle results over 2.5 are positive (but there is usually room for improvement).

B) Study-group mean: Compare the subgroup means to the overall study group mean, e.g. the specific company, work site, etc.

C) Possible comparisons to results from similar and specific NOSACQ-50 studies - this could be by company type (e.g. other chemical companies), type of organisation (with a similar structure, and/or similar health & safety management systems), language (i.e. other native language studies), etc.

D) NOSACQ-50 database - only for the sake of curiosity. The current database is not based on a representative sample, but is rather bias towards only those companies interested in being measured, many of which have a very (pro)active health & safety management system.

The following are preliminary guidelines for interpreting the results of a survey. They are based on the current data in the international NOSACQ-50 database, and will be undergoing developed as the database grows in size with results from around the world.

A rule of thumb for interpreting the results of each dimension:


  • A score of more than 3.30 indicates a good level allowing for maintaining and continuing developments
  • A score of 3.00 to 3.30 points to a fairly good level with slight need of improvement
  • A score of 2.70 to 2.99 shows a fairly low level with need of improvement
  • A score below 2.70 indicates a low level with great need of improvement

A Masters student has proposed a link between these NOSACQ-50 score categories and Hudson's (2003) levels of safety culture - ranging from the pathological (less than 2.4), reactive (2.4-2.69) and calculative (2.7-2.99) levels to the proactive (3.0-3.30) and generative (greater than 3.30) levels.

The table below provides more accurate dimension means, based on the international data in the current database. Grand mean is for responses from 'workers' (does not include supervisors/managers).

NOSACQ-50 Dimensions









Dim 1 - Management safety priority and ability





Dim 2 - Management safety empowerment





Dim 3 - Management safety justice





Dim 4 - Worker safety commitment





Dim 5 - Workers safety priority and risk non-acceptance





Dim 6 - Peer safety communication, learning, and trust in safety ability





Dim 7 - Workers trust in the efficacy of safety systems





Revised data: january 2018, with a total of 46,316 'worker' respondents from 364 different work sites or studies in 37 industrial sectors on 6 continents, using 26 different language versions.

Mean age = 41 (age range 15-91), males = 77%, females 23 %



Contact: Pete Kines

National Research Centre for the Working Environment | Lersø Parkallé 105 | DK-2100 Copenhagen O | Denmark |

Phone +45 3916 5200 | fax +45 3916 5201 | e-mail: | CVR: 15413700 | EAN: 5798000399518

Vis desktop version