Why Zero Injuries Does NOT Always Mean Your Worksite is Safe

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Evidence-Based Practices: How to Create Conversations that Lead to Beneficial Culture Change

Fifteen years of experience helping businesses transform their work cultures have shown me that Evidence-Based Practices around key business needs are essential. Evidence-Based Practices are simply those that allow for objective measurement of performance that should lead to a desired outcome. For example, in the Behavior-Based Safety process that we teach, safety behaviors are measured through direct observation. Then, performance feedback is provided immediately to the individual(s) observed as a means of reinforcing desired behavior and stopping undesired behavior. We stress giving positive feedback for safe performance. And, if correction is needed, we teach a constructive feedback process that allows the performer to share with the observer all factors that may have contributed to the ...

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Why Enforcement is Not Enough to Become World-Class

The active ingredient in motivation is the outcome a person receives for performing a given behavior.  Put simply, people will behave either to avoid unpleasant consequences or to receive pleasant consequences. Given this interpretation of motivation, enforcement can be seen as an antecedent-consequence relationship we call a threat (antecedent) of a penalty (consequence) given some behavior that we don’t want to occur. This will work, but generally produces only the minimum behavior necessary to avoid the penalty. We call this compliance. 

Compliance is exemplified by the fact that the threat of a ticket for speeding does not motivate us to drive the speed limit, but rather just under the threshold for getting the ticket (often 9 mph above the speed limit!).

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How You Can Be Proactive When it Comes to Injury Prevention

A Brief Case Study in Behavior-Based Safety

Most traditional safety systems focus on tracking injury-related incidents (e.g., OSHA/MSHA recordables, lost-time accidents) as a means of evaluating safety success. Although it is important to track these events, the incidents themselves are most likely the result of actions taken by one or more people. Thus, they are outcomes of behavior or lagging indicators of safety.

To be most successful in preventing injuries, we recommend that you focus upstream when evaluating safety success. That is, although it is important to track incidents, you should also measure the potential for incidents to occur. This will allow your department or worksite to make adjustments prior to someone getting hurt or property

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Using an Understanding of “Why People Do What They Do” to Promote Safety Improvements

Previously, I described the foundation of behavior-based safety, behavior-focused observation and feedback. Additionally, I provided some details on the essential characteristics of the observation card to be used by employees as part of a solid behavior-based safety process. If you will recall, the observations work not only to help employees look-out for one another and increase awareness, but as importantly, to produce the behavioral measures of safety. This month I will introduce the basic behavioral science understanding of “why people do what they do,” the foundation for promoting safety improvements in areas you’ve identified with your observations.

 
The ABCs of Safety Improvement
A major aspect of behavior-based approaches to safety focus on systematically studying the effects of various interventions on
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