PowerPoint - The Psychology of Safety

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Transcript PowerPoint - The Psychology of Safety

The Psychology of Safety
Presented by:
Dan Hannan, CSP, CHMM
Safety Director
Associated General Contractors of MN
What This Presentation is NOT!
• Although we are talking about how
the mind works, NO hypnosis will be
performed .
• It is NOT a group therapy session to
uncover some horrible aspect of your
• It is NOT going to involve an IQ test
or otherwise measure your safety
intelligence or aptitude.
Presentation Objective
INTRODUCE the principles that shape our
safety behavior
Why do we think and then do (or not do)
what we are suppose (or not suppose) to
do to stay safe?
I want you to start thinking about how
people think (about safety)
If you have any questions
please hold them until the end
Information Sources
The analysis of safety behavior or “Behavior Based
Safety” is not a new concept. It has been
studied for quite a few years by many folks.
Certain safety professionals feel it to be
worthwhile while some do not.
Articles and phone interviews by:
• Robert Pater
• Ron Bowles
• Scott Geller
• Peter Cholakis
• Andrew Kapp and Praveen Parboteeah
• National Safety Council
• www.behavioural-safety.com
Do you consider yourself a
safe person?
Do you observe the safety
management programs that your
company has prepared for its
Do you utilize your training,
experience and safety equipment
and procedures for protecting
yourself and others on jobsites?
For instance do you use fall
protection, safety glasses, hearing
protection and otherwise
recognize and abate hazards that
exist on the job?
Do You…
• …climb into a deer stand, work on your roof at
home or otherwise work at heights on or off the
job without fall protection?
…mow the grass, operate a chain saw or weed
whip or other power tools at home or work
without safety glasses, hearing protection or steel
toed boots?
…use a solvent based paint or stain or sand
sheetrock in a poorly ventilated area or without
the use of a respirator?
…utilize electrical devices without the use of GFCI
or flipping the breaker?
Do You…
• …work in locations that would be considered a
confined space where hazardous atmospheres
may exist (i.e. using cleaning chemicals in the
…dig on the job or in your yard at home without
clearing buried utilities?
…drive a vehicle without using a seat belt or
while applying makeup?
…ensure that the trailer you are towing (boat) is
working properly, its not overloaded and the load
is properly secured.
No matter how much safety training has been
provided why are unsafe acts still being
committed (on and off the job?)
Unsafe acts (behavior) account for __
% of accidents and injuries?
• 20-40
• 40-60
• 60-75
• >75
Answer is >75
An Ounce of Prevention is
Employee and company safety-oriented programs designed
to promote safe behavior and make our jobsites a safer:
• Craft labor apprenticeship training programs
• OSHA 10/30 Outreach training
• Volunteer Protection Program (VPP)
• State OSHA safety partnership programs
• Tool box talks/best practices
• Safety seminars and workshops
• OSHA consultation visits
• Pre-task planning
• Health and safety plans…
Why do we still place so much time and
money into correcting unsafe conditions
when more times than not the root cause
is human behavior—ability to recognize a
hazard and make the proper decision?
The company safety professional
is an army of one—why not create
an army of dozens by modifying
front-line employee behavior!
An AGC Construction
Learning Tool
An AGC Construction
Learning Tool
An AGC Construction
Learning Tool
Why do we commit unsafe
acts when we know
Does Changing One’s Behavior
Toward Safety Really Work?
Results from all sectors of manufacturing and
construction have shown…
– 40-75 percent reduction in accident rates and accident costs
– Greater workforce involvement in safety
– Better communications between management and the
– Greater 'ownership' of safety by the workforce
– More positive attitudes towards safety
– Greater individual acceptance of responsibility for safety
How many of you work
with unsafe coworkers?
Have children?
What do they have in
They just don’t get it!
(they don’t do what they’ve
been told, listen to warnings,
think things through or learn
from their mistakes)
The Psychology of Safe Behavior
There appears to be three critical elements
that shape our thought and reasoning
processes and how we display that in the
form of safety behavior (our actions)
1. How We Learn (educated and trained)
2. How we are Motivated and
Influenced (to do safety)
3. Ability to Focus and pay
Attention (to the task at hand)
First—set the stage with some current safety psychology principles.
The Mental Side of Safety
An accident, injury or illness is the result of
one or both of the following
Unsafe acts (behavior)
Unsafe conditions
It is the popular belief that behavior
accounts for 75-90% of all incidents
Basis for Unsafe Behavior
The consequence of behaving unsafely will
nearly always determine future unsafe
behavior, simply because reinforced
behavior tends to be repeated.
If I do something (knowingly or unknowingly)
unsafe and don’t get hurt (and I get the job
done faster or cheaper), I will likely do it
again (until I do get hurt or am asked to
correct to stop [behavior]).
Consequence versus outcome…if they
succeed will they do it again?
Aside from your safety
behavior in the workplace,
should your employer care
about your safety off the
Why is it important to your
employer that good safety
habits carry over into your
home life?
“Working Safe: How to help people actively care for health and safety” by E. Scott Geller, Ph.D.
Why is Good Safety Behavior Important
at Work AND Away From Work?
• For the US population, the two leading
causes of accidental death are motor
vehicle accidents and falls (also the two
biggest accident/death construction
• Nine times more workers die accidentally
off the job than at work.
• There are approximately 12,000 deaths
and 2.9 million disabling injuries that
occur in the home each year.
Why is Safety Important at
Work AND Away From Work?
The four most common injuries and fatalities
on the job—falls, electrocution, struck-by
and caught-in. The first two causes are also
major factors for injuries and fatalities at
home. Many hazards that exist in the
workplace also exist away from work.
Engrained safety behavior enables
recognition and avoidance of these
hazards regardless of where they exist
Why is Safety Important at
Work AND Away From Work?
• The mental strain caused by the loss of
life or serious injury to a co-worker.
• Costs—Whether on the job or at home,
unsafe behavior equates to large financial
consequences for both the employer and
128 million employees receiving workers
compensation benefits in 2005 at a cost of 55
billion dollars or an average of $21,000 per
claim. (National Safety Council Injury Facts 2008)
• According to commonly accepted safety management
concepts for every $1 in medical or insurance
compensation costs ("direct costs") for a worker injury,
$5-50 more are likely to be spent on "indirect costs" to
repair building, tool or equipment damage; to replace
damage products or materials; and to make up for
losses from production delays and interruptions. An
additional $1-3 in indirect costs will be spent for hiring
and training replacements and for time to investigate the
Developing an
“all-the-time” safety
mindset to change
behavior and
create a safety
How many of you personally
• Worked at least 5 years without a lost
workday incident?
• 10 years?
• 15 years?
• 20 years or more?
You are all very lucky to not have been
injured on the job, correct?
Luck has only a little to do with it.
A large part of your success has likely been
determined by the priority you, your coworkers and your employer place on your
safety and the safety of others. This is
expressed in your safety behavior.
Three Primary Safety Behavior
1. How we learn (training and
education programs)
2. How we are motivated or
influenced to behave safely
3. How we focus or pay attention
to instructions and tasks
Learning Processes
Characteristics of Adult Learners
• Adults learn and retain information at
different speeds.
• Adults are most receptive to training if
they have an immediate use or need for
the skill or knowledge being taught.
• Adults bring a great deal of life
experience to a training situation. It is
important to allow adults to share their
knowledge and expertise.
Characteristics of Adult
• Adults have expectations about what they are
being taught. In the case of safety it would
be that they are being taught the correct way
of doing things to be safe and productive.
• Information retention and learning is based
on what is already known.
Learning progresses from the simple to the
complex. People learn best if you break a
process or skill into fairly simple pieces for
learning retention.
• A skill must be used to be remembered.
It is Estimated . . .
• that the average person retains about 7
items in his or her short-term memory.
• that it takes between 10 and 15 contact
times with a hands-on skill before we
retain it in our long-term memory
Adults Will Remember…
• 10% of what we Hear
• 15% of what we See
• 20% of what we Both Hear & See
• 40% of what we Discuss with others
• 80% of what we Experience Directly or
• 90% of what we attempt to Teach Others
The % increases as we “use” and take
ownership of our knowledge (training and
Effective Training and Learning
Techniques often involve the
following sequence…
1. You read the directions (procedure), I tell you
how to do it and then show you
You tell me, show me and then write down
the process or steps, then I’m going to read
what you wrote to see if it makes sense.
Research indicates that we loose 95% of
what we’ve learned in a training session
in 2 weeks!
So…How Does the Learning Aspect of
my Training Impact My Safety
• The quality of instruction and learning needs to
be evaluated to ensure effectiveness—DO NOT
assume everyone will comprehend and retain
A quality effective training program says the
employer values and is committed to the safety of
the employee.
Solid training programs that build a sense of
personal responsibility are considered successful
and especially if safe behavior is carried away
from the jobsite—back to your home!
Nothing says motivation like…
Motivation = ”…the forces influencing
people so as to control the making of their
What are the factors that motivate us and
influence our level of effort with regard to
safety (output of mind and body)?
Keeping yourself safe requires both your mind
and body.
When your life is on the line it only takes a
lapse of either to yield disastrous results.
Factors that Shape Motivation
The establishment of clear attainable goals, that the
employee has helped set, coupled with a reward
(recognition, $’s, etc.) stimulates the need to do well.
Established safety goals and meaningful rewards
usually equates to a safer work effort and behavior.
The trend for safety recognition is behavior based—
reward for safe behavior rather than zero injuries.
Instill a personal responsibility to recognize unsafe actions/near
misses by promoting ownership of safety to change behavior.
Factors that Shape Motivation
Needs, Wants and Beliefs
Generally speaking, if a worker’s needs and wants
are satisfied (hazard-free work environment,
correct tools to get the job done, etc.) they are
more content and will be motivated to perform
well and do what is asked of them—like observing
safety requirements
People tend to be motivated if what they believe
they are doing (safety) makes a difference for
them and others.
Factors that Shape Motivation
Risk = the likelihood of an outcome
(probability) and the severity of the
consequence (how bad).
Everyone evaluates and perceives risk
differently—why do some people like
skydiving and some do not—reward
outweighs the probability of cost?
Factors that Shape Motivation
The consequence of
behaving unsafely
(RISK) will nearly
always determine
future unsafe
behavior, simply
because reinforced
behavior (no accident
or consequence)
tends to be repeated.
Factors that Shape Motivation
For the home, do you perceive the risk to be
less than on a jobsite?
At home we are removed from the
construction environment which may lead
us to believe less severe outcomes.
However, a fall from 10 feet likely would
have the same outcome on the job or at
home if you are not using fall protection.
Factors that Shape Motivation
Risk perception
• “Walk the line”—
iron workers
• Hearing
only one cut”
Factors that Shape Motivation
The degree to which the strength of the
motivational process affects us is a function of
association—good or bad!
Good positive outcomes make stronger
associations (neurological connections) while
poor ones do not.
The motivational connection is stronger if for
instance one of your co-workers (close
association) were injured or killed on a jobsite
versus seeing or reading a story about someone
on a jobsite in California.
Factors that Shape Motivation
Physical, Emotional, Environmental
Sleep—the lack of sleep accounts for thousands of traffic and
work related accidents, injuries and deaths each year. If a
lack of sleep does not kill you it can slow you down and
affect the quality of your work.
Heat/cold—it is a demonstrated fact that heat, cold, humidity
and lack of sunlight affect our mental and physical desire
(motivation) to work.
Personal stress—events in your life (death, divorce, etc.)
affect our level of effort.
Medication/illegal drug use—alteration of attitude/behavior
All of these can contribute to someone having a “bad
attitude”, low motivation and likely unsafe behavior
Factors that Shape Motivation
“I don’t care what it
takes get the job
done…no excuses.”
If this is the message
from the
superintendant, project
manager or
management, what
priority does this place
on safety?
Factors that Shape Motivation
Compliance and Consequence
”…if you don’t follow this procedure or use this piece
of safety equipment you will be fired”. Is there
recourse or consequence for reckless behavior (not
following safety policies, rules, etc.)?
Is such a policy fairly enforced, consistent and
supported by management?
The effectiveness of punishment is dependent upon
its consistency. It only works if it is given
immediately, fairly and every single time an unsafe
act occurs.
Factors that Shape Motivation
Compliance and Consequence
Punishing people for everyday infractions of safety rules (e.g.
not wearing a hard hat) is a very difficult thing to do
consistently and does not address the underlying problem
(why are they choosing not to wear it?--e.g. the hard hat is
uncomfortable or gets in the way of doing the job
Punishment is Most Effective When…
It is reserved: [1] to those who deliberately put other people
at risk; and [2] only after the organization has done
everything in its power to create the safest working
environment and the employee still commits unsafe acts
that are willful and aimed at flouting authority.
Factors that Shape Motivation
“The organizational ethical climate refers to the
specific shared perceptions of organizational
practices and procedures that define what is
considered right or wrong. This shared perception
of the accumulated expectations serves as a ready
form of reference for guiding the behaviors of its
Studies have shown where a strong ethical climate
exists, sound employee behavior follows.
Do your company’s guiding ethical principles motivate
good safety behavior?
Motivation…Final Thought
“There are very few things that can build
self-esteem (and motivate) within an
individual, more effectively than the
“powers of positive reinforcement” for
desired habits and behaviors”.
Recognize and reward safe behavior
Attention—Nighttime Work
Zone Safety
Attention and Mental Focus
• "Are the schedules being accelerated so quickly that
people are being sloppy and not paying attention to
detail?" asked Louis Coletti, president of the Building
Trades Employers' Association, the largest contractor
group in New York City.
OSHA investigators concluded Hardrock didn't watch the
rigging that maneuvered the girder closely enough, said
John Healy, director of the agency's Englewood office.
"The company really didn't have a strong practice of
training their people in following up and monitoring that
they are paying attention to rigging at all times," Healy
Attention and Mental Focus
ENR report July 29, 2008
“Some see the project schedule as unrealistic. City
Center ($9.4 billion, 76 acres), Las Vegas, is being
built in the same time frame that it took to
complete the adjacent $1.6 billion, 37 story Bellagio
Resort which is only one building and 25% the
amount of space.”
Imagine the mental focus required for this
fast-paced work scheduled especially when
fatigue is a major concern. Some 13
workers have died on this project to date.
Pay Attention!
Easier said than done some times
Attention and Mental Focus
How many of you can honestly say that you
mentally focus on specific tasks on a
Life would be a drag if we had to focus 100%
of the time on everything we did.
Skilled labor means, to a certain degree, that
you have developed such an expertise and
familiarity that it allows you to do many
parts of your job without “thinking”
A faster paced, media blitzed multitasking
society has had an affect on the attention
spans of younger people (i.e. cell phone,
I-Pods, text messaging, video games,
Internet, etc.)? There are more
diagnosed cases of ADD than ever.
• The ability to focus during an activity
usually equates to a more efficient safer
outcome—no shortcuts or forgotten steps.
• Attention is an attribute that can be
improved with skills training.
Attention Improvement
• Reduce area stimuli—sights or sounds affect our
ability to focus (i.e. some people require near
silence to read and retain).
Complete one task at a time—no multi-tasking.
When distracted completely stop and then
restart the activity.
Take breaks when mentally fatigued to “refocus”.
Work rested and check personal issues at the
door or take time off.
Final Thoughts
The three contributing elements
shaping the safety mindset and
resulting behavior are:
• Learning—how, quality and frequency
• Motivate correctly to “do safety”
• Attention or focus on our actions
Wouldn’t it just be easier if…
“You will be the
safest employee
Thank You
NAWIC for this
Have a safe, controlled behavior,