The aim of this paper is to assess, through an empirical investigation, whether the performance of safety management systems (SMSs) adopting and non-adopting companies statistically differ. To achieve such aim, empirical data were collected on a sample of 116 companies, encompassing both SMSs adopters and non-adopters. Hypotheses testing was performed to assess whether SMSs adopters experience significantly higher performance against (i) definition of safety and security goals and their communication to employees; (ii) risk data updating and risk analysis; (iii) identification of risks and definition of corrective actions; (iv) employees training. Results show that companies adopting SMSs exhibit higher performance against all the topics identified. These outcomes could be the starting point for providing empirical evidence of benefits achievable thanks to SMSs implementation.
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