James Cooley

Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Mark Dusenbury


Aviation safety outcomes, such as mishaps, are a product of an aviation organization’s safety culture (Reason, 2008; Reiman & Pietikäinen, 2012). Safety cultures should be assessed in order to improve an organization’s state of safety (Adjekum et al., 2015; Cooper, Collins, Bernard, Schwann, & Knox, 2019; Wiegmann, Zhang, von Thaden, Sharma, & Gibbons, 2004). Questionnaires are one of the best ways of obtaining information about an organization’s safety culture (Wiegmann et al., 2004; Wald, Gray, & Eatough, 2018). Additionally, the extent to which aviation hazards are reported (hazreps) serve as an indicator of the health of an aviation Safety Management System (SMS) (Adjekum et al., 2015; Cooper et al., 2019) and as a marker of a proactive safety culture (Gu & Itoh, 2013; Reason, 2008; Reiman & Pietikäinen, 2012). Proactive safety cultures are linked to hazard mitigation amongst aviation organizations (Barach, 2000; Reiman & Pietikäinen, 2012). In light of this, and in an effort to have a proactive safety culture, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) wishes to know the extent of the relationship between its annual Operational Climate Survey (safety survey) and hazreps. The main research question for this thesis is: What is the extent of the relationship between USCG aviation safety survey data and the total of aviation hazards reported? First, an Exploratory Factor Analysis was conducted to determine the validity and reliability of the safety survey using data from FY 2015 to FY 2018 (n = 10,622) and to reduce the survey data to clusters of items within factors. The survey was found to be statistically reliable. The averaged survey items within factors represented the survey in order to perform a Pearson’s Correlation procedure between the survey data and hazrep totals per USCG air station (n = 28) per year. In addition, multiple regression procedures were carried out to determine if the safety survey was predictive of the extent to which hazards were reported. This research revealed that there was no statistically significant correlation between the safety survey and hazreps, and consequently, the safety survey was not predictive of hazreps.