Abstract Criteria for evaluating occupational safety in industrial organisations have been developed and tested. These criteria were designed for use in safety diagnoses, i.e. planned and systematic investigations of the organisation and the administrative procedures to control safety. The safety criteria were derived from previous performed safety management analyses and safety audit tools. A questionnaire survey was carried out in order to validate the criteria for evaluating safety in industrial organisations. Production personnel, safety professionals and line managers from 14 companies (aluminium production plants and meat production industry) answered the questionnaire. Strong correlation were found between the respondents’ overall evaluation of safety and the evaluations of safety specific factors (management factors mainly to promote safety), while the injury frequency rate was strongly correlated to the evaluations of general management factors (management factors to improve the production system and organisation in general). The overall evaluation of safety correlated significantly with the injury frequency rate. This indicates that the proposed Safety Diagnosis Criteria can provide a valid measurement of safety in industrial organisations.