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Psychological Behavioral Strategy for Accident Control; Development of Behavioral Safety Guidelines.

Tuttle TC; Grether CB; Liggett WT; Killian NE
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Rockville, Maryland 1973 Dec:186 pages
The report attempts to establish an accident-control strategy based upon the application of behavioral science knowledge to industrial safety problems. This application is expressed in a system of behavioral safety guidelines, based upon four areas of scientific inquiry: (1) behavior modification, (2) training, (3) engineering psychology, and (4) organizational psychology. The report translates statements about these four behavioral categories into the specific context of safety performance in industrial settings. Organizational psychology guidelines are divided into five groups: organizational objectives and policies, job/individual compatibility, group and interpersonal processes, and leadership and individual/organizational feedback. Safety must be an overall organizational objective, requiring an awareness of the extra organizational environment, its own intra organizational communication network, and a system of safety awards and incentives. Job design and assignment as well as work expectation must be influenced by the need for job/individual compatibility. Competition and cooperation must be balanced to establish and maintain group behavior norms and improve work quality and safety performance. Leadership influences safety motivation. Safety criteria development requires individual/organizational feedback. The training section applies the Eckstrand model (1964), which has seven steps: (1) define objectives, (2) develop training evaluation criteria, (3) establish training content, (4) design methods and materials, (5) integration of program and trainees, (6) evaluate graduates, and (7) modification based on step six. Engineering psychology adapts equipment and operations to fit the safety limitations as well as the productive capabilities of the worker population. While workers are adaptable, the report demonstrates that deficient engineering design means corresponding accident increases. Behavior modification attempts to schedule and reinforce desirable adherence to safety rules while punishing unsafe behavior. The primary drawbacks involve the incidence of noncontingent reinforcement and punishment.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-099-72-0027; Accident-prevention; Behavior; Psychological-factors; Psychological-responses; Regulations; Training; Work-practices; Accident-analysis; Analytical-methods; Workers; Information-processing;
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National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: January 28, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division