OBJECTIVES: This manuscript assesses safety climate data from the National Machine Guarding Program (NMGP)-a nationwide intervention to improve machine safety. METHODS: Baseline safety climate surveys were completed by 2161 employees and 341 owners or managers at 115 businesses. A separate onsite audit of safety management practices and machine guarding equipment was conducted at each business. RESULTS: Safety climate measures were not correlated with machine guarding or safety management practices. The presence of a safety committee was correlated with higher scores on the safety management audit when contrasted with those without one. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of a safety committee is easily assessed and provides a basis on which to make recommendations with regard to how it functions. Measures of safety climate fail to provide actionable information. Future research on small manufacturing firms should emphasize the presence of an employee-management safety committee.