NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

A behavioral approach: motivational/financial impact.

NIOSH 1980 Jun; :1-61
The motivational and financial impact of a behavioral approach to workplace safety practices was studied. Specified safety practices for a poultry processing facility were introduced under two different conditions, and activities were observed and scored for safety three times a week for 46 weeks. In the antecedent control condition, safety rules were explained, illustrated, and a new rule was posted three times a week, and rules were discussed at a weekly meeting. In the consequent condition, a feedback graph was explained, interpreted, and displayed, feedback was posted three times a week, and feedback was discussed at a weekly meeting. For evaluation of long term effects of feedback, the study was continued for 29 additional weeks. Assessment of the direct and indirect costs of workplace accidents also was attempted. Use of safe practices increased only slightly over baseline during the antecedent condition, but performances improved significantly in all groups during the consequent condition. The majority of employees reported that they preferred the consequent condition and particularly liked obtaining information following their performance. Safety performance was maintained for an extended period of time with thrice weekly feedback combined with a weekly meeting and posted safety rules. Performance declined and was variable with once a week feedback, but improved again when feedback was returned to thrice weekly. A methodology was devised for assessing the financial impact of workplace accidents but no conclusions about the cost savings of the behavioral safety program were drawn because the site did not experience serious safety problems. The author concludes that thrice weekly employee feedback is more effective in sustaining safe workplace practices and is better received by workers than rules and reminders without feedback.
NIOSH-Grant; Positive-feedback; Safety-programs; Psychological-effects
Technology and Development LAb Georgia Inst of Technology Engr Experiment Station Atlanta, GA 30332
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division