Behavioral Safety:Five ThingsYou Can DoRight Nowto Improve SafetyJim Getting, PhD, CSPMIOSHA ConsultationEducation and Training DivisionMichigan Safety ConferenceApril 16, 20191The Situation We have come a long way!21

Big Changes Take ManySmall Changes You can start with a few smallerthings. Let’s base those changes on facts. Let’s use science.3Have You Heard This One Before?You dosomething1. You get rewarded.1. Do it again.2. You get punished.2. Don’t do that again.3. Nothing happens.3. Eventually give up.We learn from our experiences.42

How Else Do We Learn? 26,000 traumatic brain injuries to children and adolescents due tobicycle accidents EVERY YEAR.*We learn from what we hear and what we see.* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. Web‐based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention andControl, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.5A ‐ B ‐ C of Behavioral SafetyAntecedents:Things that comebefore behavior.Behavior:What you do or say.Consequences:What happens.63

TypicalBehavioralSafetyProgram Evaluate current safety systems.Engineering, administrative fixes.Create a steering team.Design your program.Train: Managers, Workers, Observers.Target safe / at‐risk behaviors.Set goals for improvement.Conduct observations.Provide feedback.Provide reinforcement for safeperformance. Correct at‐risk performance. Measure improvements. Evaluate, refine, and continue. Big commitment. Time and resources. Requires expertise. But it works!7Five Things You Can Do Right Now84

Can each of your workers identify the most criticalsafe / at risk behaviors for the task they areperforming?# 1 PrioritizeHazards Safety manuals typically do not differentiatecritical items from non‐critical. Training videos rarely point out the most criticalitems. Safety audit checklists typically do notdifferentiate.9# 1 Prioritize Hazards Grindle, A.C. , Dickinson, A.M. & Boettcher, W. (2000) BehavioralSafety Research in Manufacturing Settings, Journal ofOrganizational Behavior Management, 20:1, 29‐68, DOI:10.1300/J075v20n01 03 Reviewed 18 studies. Discusses differences and similarities. Usually required an assessment of what performance totarget before doing anything else. Workers and managers often are not able to list thecritical safe / at‐risk behaviors for a task.105

# 1 PrioritizeHazardsSuggestionsandThoughts Have workers and supervisors generate a quicklist together for their job or department. Top 3, Top 5, Top 10, whatever works. Print that list out. With pictures. Use those lists to: Focus training. Discuss what could be done better. Set goals. Measure performance. Reward good performance.11#2Set a SafetyGoal Setting goals results in better performance. Upstream: safe work performance. The goal of “zero accidents / injuries” is fraught withproblems.126

# 2 Set a Safety Goal Roose, K. M. & Williams, W. L. (2018) An Evaluation of the Effects of VeryDifficult Goals, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 38:1, 18‐48, DOI: 10.1080/01608061.2017.1325820 Reviewed findings from a massive amount of research on goalsetting. Over 1000 studies. Studied easy goals, difficult goals, goals paired with feedback,goals paired with rewards, vague goals versus specific goals,and so on.13# 2 Set a Safety GoalSome consistent findings: Goals should be attainable, but not unrealistic. Workers need to be committed to the goal. Workers involved in setting goals helps them commit. Workers need control over achieving the goal. Striving for the goal may negatively affect other desiredthings. Work safer, but slower. Workers need to see their progress toward the goal.Provide feedback.147

#2: GoalsSuggestionsandThoughts Choose specific safe / at risk performance.Have workers help choose.Refresher training.Measure performance and give feedback.Make it fun.Celebrate success.15#3 Removethe Barriersfor SafeWork Consider reasons why people choose to not worksafely or make errors. Find ways to remove the negative consequences. Safety glasses fog up. Ear plugs are uncomfortable. Fall protection harnesses are uncomfortable. Retractable life‐lines catch if you move to fast.168

# 3 Remove the Barriers for Safe Work Cohen, H. H. & Jensen, R. C. (1984). Measuring the effectiveness ofan industrial lift truck safety training program. Journal of SafetyResearch, 15, 125‐135. Trained lift truck drivers. Observed and provided feedback on multiple safe / at‐risk driving behaviors. Found that looking over the shoulder while backing updid not improve. Realized that drivers breathed noxious fumes andexperienced sore necks and backs.17#3 RemoveBarriersSuggestionsandThoughts List all the positives and all the negatives.Consider immediacy, certainty, size.Removing negatives makes work more pleasant.More examples of barriers: Takes more time. Takes more effort. Not the norm to do it that way. Feels “weird” because it is new. Requires overcoming bad habits189

#4AskManagersTo DoSomethingRelated toSafetyIncreased management safety activity results in:1) Employees work safer.2) Fewer incidents.19#4 Ask Managers To Do SomethingSafety Related The Impact of Management’s Commitment on Employee Behavior: A Field StudyCooper, M.D. (2006) Proceedings of the ASSE Middle East Chapter: ProfessionalDevelopment Conference, Bahrain, March 18‐22. Supervisors, middle managers, and senior management.Each listed safety activities they perform.They logged how many they did each week.Result: More management safety activity resulted in safer work andfewer incidents. It did not matter what level of management, all levels had an effect.2010

#4 Ask Managers To Do Something Safety RelatedActual sample list:1. Accompany an observer during an observation.2. Attend a workgroup feedback meeting.3. Discussed safety with employee (one‐to‐one).4. Discussed line management on‐going support.5. Developed plans for corrective actions.6. Ensured that some corrective actions were closed.7. Approved funding for a safety improvement.8. Reviewed progress with management team or safety advisor.9. Conducted an incident investigation.10. Attended a safety training course.11. Conducted safety related training.21#4: AskManagersTo DoSomethingSafety RelatedSuggestionsandThoughts Acknowledge that managers are already doing manysafety activities. Ask them to try to make an extra effort. Have managers record what they did. Define it as a one‐time burst or a short‐term effort. Give feedback to managers on how they are doing. Let them share success stories. You can go very basic – every manager should haveone safety conversation every day.2211

#5Take aWorker on aBrief SafetyObservation Select a worker to come with you on a quick safetywalk. Describe a few things that you want to focus on. Ask them to look out for those things too. That worker’s safe / at‐risk performance will improve.23# 5 Take a Worker on a Brief SafetyObservationAlvero, A. M., Rost, K., & Austin, J. (2008) The effects of conductingsafety observations. Journal of Safety Research, 39, 365‐373 Had observers conduct multiple observations of safe /at‐risk performance. Those observers performance was also measured to seeif their safe / at‐risk performance changed. The observers safe work practices improved dramatically.2412

# 5 Take aWorker on aWalkSuggestionsandThoughts This can be very casual. Great opportunity to get workers involved and gettheir input. Might feel weird to you and them at first. Try it with a seasoned worker. Try it with a new worker to get a “fresh set of eyes”. Plan for five minutes. Do not let them accompany you to discipline.25Behavioral Safety:Five ThingsYou Can DoRight Nowto Improve Safety1.2.3.4.Prioritize hazards.Set a goal.Remove barriers.Ask managers to dosomething safety related.5. Take a Worker on a BriefSafety Observation.Every journey begins with the first step.2613

Thank YouPresented by: Jim Getting, PhD, CSPMichigan Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationConsultation Education and Training Division525 W. Allegan Street, P.O. Box 30643Lansing, MI a2714