Is use of the hands-free technique during surgery, a safe work practice, associated with safety climate?
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BACKGROUND: A better safety climate has been linked to better compliance with safety behaviors. This study assessed whether "management support," the most commonly measured safety climate dimension, was associated with greater use of the hands-free technique (HFT), a work practice recommended for use during surgery to prevent exposure to blood and body fluids. METHODS: Questionnaires from operating room nurses participating in a test retest reliability study and in training sessions for an intervention study, from 9 hospitals in 3 Canadian provinces, were analyzed. RESULTS: Response rates in the hospitals varied from 61% to 97%. Four hundred forty-two operating room nurses responded; 16% reported using the HFT approximately 75% or more of the time in surgery, and 39% had received HFT training. Management support and HFT training were each associated with increased HFT use: odds ratio (OR), 6.63; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.89-23.30 and OR, 6.36; 95% CI: 1.97-20.51, respectively. When training occurred in a context of management support, HFT use was further increased: OR, 9.12; 95% CI: 2.71-30.72. CONCLUSION: Consistent with previous research linking management support for health and safety to uptake of safety practices, management support and HFT training acted synergistically to increase HFT use most of the time in surgery.