Study aims to enhance behavioral approach to workplace health, safety
Behavioral-based approaches to addressing workplace health and safety can be critical components of any program to reduce injuries and accidents. However, according to researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there are several factors impacting the effectiveness of behavioral-based interventions that need to be better understood.
The study, published in the National Safety Council's Journal of Safety Research, recommended using behavioral safety as part of holistic programs that address psychological, social, engineering and organizational factors. Researchers pinpointed areas where increased data can enhance behavior-based, injury prevention interventions and improve occupational safety and health.
Behavioral safety is the science of observing workers' behaviors to determine where a different behavior or set of behaviors may have prevented or lessened the severity of injury. The study defined behavioral safety as an approach to improve safety performance through peer observations, goal setting, feedback, and celebrations or incentives for reaching safety goals.
Areas recommended by the authors for research included:
- Impact of behavioral safety interventions on rates of injury, illness and fatalities.
- Appropriateness of the basic elements of behavioral safety across different industry sectors.
- Relationship between behavioral safety and a safety culture.
- Role of performance feedback in creating behavioral change.
- Effectiveness of tangible and nontangible rewards on behavioral change.
March 12, 2009
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