The human factor plays a decisive role in most accidents, but the problems caused by them are still unresolved. Understanding safety culture will help the industry to allocate safety resources and improve occupational health and safety performance. The paper presents an overview of the main existing triad models. The models in this paper can be used to illustrate components of the system, psychological elements of the people in the system and their individual and collective behaviours in terms of system performance. Some models describe ‘components’ of culture, others attempt to explain the relationship between safety culture and outcomes, and some models in the area describe the factors that interact to cause workplace safety incidents.