Magazine article Risk Management

Promoting Safe Behavior

Magazine article Risk Management

Promoting Safe Behavior

Article excerpt

The key to minimizing workplace injuries can often be found right in front of your eyes, according to Garnett Payne, Ph.D, senior consultant at Behavioral Science Technology, Inc. during Behavior-Based Safety. The most effective approach is to observe worker habits and potential risks and then to use this knowledge to make positive changes in safety performance. "If you can measure risky behavior, you can manage it," said Dr. Payne.

"Behavior-based safety is a process, not a program," Dr. Payne noted. Unlike short-term programs, behavior-based safety must be ongoing, building credibility by providing long-term results. "Normally, management waits for accidents to happen," Dr. Payne added. If a program is implemented as a result of an incident, there might be significant improvement initially, but it is likely to only be temporary. Behavior-based safety can involve regulations, meetings, reprimands (when necessary), contests and long-term policies.

Identifying critical behaviors is the first step in the process. Basically, critical behaviors are those that significantly reduce the risk of injury if done with the appropriate precautions but that also increase an employee's risk of injury if done unsafely. …

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