Safety climate survey was sent to 642 plants in 2003 to explore safety climate practices in the Korean manufacturing plants, especially in hazardous chemical treating plants. Out of 642 plants contacted 195 (30.4%) participated in the surveys. Data were collected by e-mail using SQL-server and mail. The main objective of this study was to explore safety climate practices (level of safety climate and the underlying problems). In addition, the variables that may influence the level of safety climate among managers and workers were explored. The questionnaires developed by health and safety executive (HSE) in the UK were modified to incorporate differences in Korean culture. Eleven important factors were summarized. Internal reliability of these factors was validated. Number of employees in the company varied from less than 30 employees (9.2%) to over 1000 employees (37.4%). Both managers and workers showed generally high level of safety climate awareness. The major underlying problems identified were inadequate health and safety procedures/rules, pressure for production, and rule breaking. The length of employment was a significant contributing factor to the level of safety climate. In this study, participants showed generally high level of safety climate, and length of employment affected the differences in the level of safety climate. Managers' commitment to comply safety rules, procedures, and effective safety education and training are recommended. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.