The Conveyor - Spring 2012 - (Page 6)

First things first: To prevent injuries, start with behavior BY THOMAS E. BOYCE, PH.D., PRESIDENT AND SENIOR CONSULTANT, THE CENTER FOR BEHAVIORAL SAFETY, LLC ighteen years of experience helping organizations prevent injuries and property damage and my University– based research taught me that a focus on behavior is the most effective way to produce safety improvements. Consider the following example: Tom is an overweight 30-something executive. His doctor has told him that he should lose weight. With the behavior-based approach, Tom would first define the behaviors he needs to do more of (e.g., exercise, make healthy food choices, etc.) in order to lose weight. As Tom focuses on his daily activities, he measures how often he performs the healthful behaviors defined. He and his social group are recruited to praise E the occurrence of healthy behaviors, and he starts to see the results he wants (e.g., he loses weight, his clothes fit better, he has more energy). As a result, Tom’s attitude about his personal fitness aligns with his new found health. The more Tom performs healthy behaviors, the more results he gets and the greater he values health and fitness as a way of life. In contrast, starting with attitude change would require that we first get Tom to believe he is out of shape and needs to become a healthy person who values fitness-related activities. However, when Tom looks in the mirror, all he sees is an out-of-shape 30-something who enjoys fast food and doughnuts. Thus, what we’re asking Tom to believe and value is inconsistent with his reality. All Tom thinks about when fitness is mentioned is what he’ll be giving up. With these thoughts, Tom justifies his unhealthy lifestyle by thinking he doesn’t really feel or look that bad and that many people have lived long happy lives being overweight. The result is an attitude of “why bother,” and a belief that fitness is for other people. He simply accepts that he is out of shape and provides excuses that prevent him from taking action. Does this scenario sound familiar when it comes to safety at your organization? Does it explain the complacency or “it won’t happen to me” attitude of some employees? If so, it may also explain why some of the more traditional approaches to improving safety that you’ve tried were less effective than expected. Employees who put themselves at risk for injury often do so because they benefit from it—they save time and it’s more convenient. These positive outcomes, combined with the years of experience of not getting hurt, make at-risk behavior a habit, much like Tom’s unhealthy lifestyle. And, we can’t convince them otherwise because what we are asking them to believe is inconsistent with this reality. However, just like Tom’s increasing weight, continued exposure to unnecessary risk will take its toll—someone will get hurt. Unfortunately, it’s only at that point that we typically react and make adjustments that should have been made long before. Incidents can be avoided when we focus our efforts first on what people are doing, instead of what they think. With a properly designed and implemented employeedriven Behavior-Based Safety process, you too can see a reduction in property damage, worker injuries and worker compensation costs. Moreover, you will see increased employee ownership of workplace safety, improved morale, better communication and improved productivity and quality. The proper process will pay for itself in less than one year and an existing process can be improved without reworking your entire safety system, computer software or infrastructure. ●■ Thomas E. (Ted) Boyce is President and Senior Consultant with the Center for Behavioral Safety, LLC, a California & Nevada-Based Safety and Leadership consulting firm that turns managers into leaders and helps companies create an injury-free workplace. Learn more at www.cbsafety.com or contact Dr. Boyce at ted.boyce@cbsafety.com. 6 • THE CONVEYOR / Spring 2012 http://www.cbsafety.com http://www.calcima.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Conveyor - Spring 2012

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
MEMBER NEWS
FIRST THINGS FIRST: TO PREVENT INJURIES, START WITH BEHAVIOR
GRANITEROCK’S HISTORICAL VEHICLES STILL ROCK AND ROLL
SUPREME COURT PAVES WAY FOR PROPERTY OWNERS TO CHALLENGE EPA COMPLIANCE ORDERS
ASSEMBLY BILL TO MODERNIZE WEIGHING SYSTEMS FOR AGGREGATE HAULERS APPROVED IN COMMITTEE
SUPREME COURT CLARIFIES REST AND MEAL PERIOD REQUIREMENTS
INDUSTRY LEADER BRUCE CARTER, OF LEHIGH HANSON, RETIRES
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS/ ADVERTISERS.COM

The Conveyor - Spring 2012

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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CMAB0112
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CMAB0210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/CMAA0009
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