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The long-term effects of a token economy on safety performance in open-pit mining.

Fox DK; Hopkins BL; Anger WK
J Appl Behav Anal 1987 Sep; 20(3):215-224
A behavioral safety program using trading stamps as tokens to reinforce safety was studied using the employees of two open pit mining facilities and their product processing facilities. The mines were used in the extraction and milling of uranium ore (SIC- 1094) and coal for the electricity generating industry. Mining procedures used included the use of scrapers, large electrical shovels, draglines, diesel electric dump trucks, bulldozers, front loaders, and smaller trucks. The majority of the injuries at both sites were associated with the use and maintenance of heavy equipment. Subjects included the employees of the facilities between 1970 and 1983. Job categories included office workers, engineers, management, custodial and maintenance personnel, production workers, mining equipment operators, and processing operators. Workers were divided into four hazard groups ranked by the number of lost time injuries reported during a baseline period. Trading stamps were given with paychecks to workers who had not suffered a lost time injury or compensation injury and to those under a single supervisor whose group was free of such injuries during the month. Safety awards using stamps were also given for safety suggestions, acts that prevented accidents and property damage, and other useful actions by workers. Use of the token economy resulted in a reduction of the number of worker days lost and the number of lost time injuries at both mines. The costs of the token program were substantially less than the cost attributable to either lost worker days or lost time injuries. The authors conclude that properly administered behavioral programs can be successful for extended periods of time.
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-hazards; Ergonomics; Industrial-safety-programs; Industrial-hygiene; Occupational-psychology; Workplace-studies; Worker-motivation; Mining-industry; Accident-prevention; Author Keywords: safety; miners; token economy; long-term effects
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Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division