Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Paper Session #170
Applications of Behavior Based Safety
Sunday, May 27, 2012
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
603 (Convention Center)
Area: OBM
Chair: Michael C. Clayton (Youngstown State University)

Evaluation of a Simplified Behavior-Based Safety Protocol Developed for Small-sized Enterprises (BASE)

Domain: Applied Research
ITALO VIGANO (Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis), Andrea Torretta (Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis), Adriano Paolo Bacchetta (Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis), Maria Gatti (Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis)

In Italy more than the 90% of production sites are Small and Medium sized Enterprises. Its difficult for a small reality to join a standard B-BS implementation; therefore, a group of Italian behavior analyst and B-BS experts developed a specific reduced protocol for SMEs and for small parts of big plants: BASE Behavior Analysis for Safety Enhencement. A.A.R.B.A. and the Polytechnic of Milan started a scientific research to find out the validity and effectiveness of this protocol, obtaining the reduction of at-risk behaviors with contextual increase of safe behaviors. The trial has been started in a 15 workers production department, isolated from the main plant of a producer of industrial boilers. After the baseline evaluation and the implementation of the process, we started with the observation and reinforcement of workers behaviors. In two-four weeks from the observation process start-up we obtained a improvement of safe behaviors for which we set improvement targets (for example: always wear the respiratory protection and order in the workplace). We also saw how the culture and values of safety was deeply rooted in the group of workers of that small department, in fact all the employees of other department that was temporarily assigned in that department have quickly changed their original unsafe behaviour, exhibiting the same safe behaviors of colleagues.

Prompting a Safer, Cleaner, Nicer World: Using Antecedents to Influence the Behavior of Others
Domain: Applied Research
MICHAEL C. CLAYTON (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: The venerable three-term contingency (A-B-C) is foundational and the unit of analysis in the field of behavior analysis. In analyzing an instance of behavior, attention is paid to the consequence for that behavior as well as its antecedent. Even so, consequent-based interventions are predominant in the literature, while analysis of antecedents is less commonplace. Five antecedent-based interventions are described in order to emphasize the effectiveness of prompting. Textual prompts were used to increase safety (seat belt use, turn signal use, cell phone use while driving, and shopping cart restraints) and public hygiene (cleanliness of restrooms). Brief summaries of findings from each study are provided to illustrate the necessary and sufficient conditions for the effective use of prompts. Examples of strange and unusual textual prompts in everyday life are also provided throughout the presentation to illustrate the ubiquity of such antecedents and their control (or not) of our behavior as we navigate the world around us.

Response to the Criticisms of Behavior Based Safety

Domain: Service Delivery

Behavior based safety (BBS) is known to be one of the most effective and efficient practices for improving workplace safety and health. 40 years worth of research and applied success has clearly demonstrated the impact of this approach. Unfortunately, early applications of BBS resulted in the creation of cultures of blame, rather than the relentless focus on the application of appreciative feedback for observed safe behaviors. This use of blame and punishment resulted in many schools of opinion being established that foundationally oppose BBS. The application of reinforcement, and specifically appreciative feedback, in a safety management system, anchors the cornerstone of many highly successful safety process. Unfortunately, the opposition to BBS that continues today is as robust as it was in the past. Spearheading this opposition are safety professionals with different philosophies about safety, consultants with competing methodologies, and some labor organizations. This paper will present a response to the particular and specific criticisms of behavior based safety can be provided. Experts from both academia and industry will present responses to specific published works that criticize behavior based safety. Those who present opinions in opposition to behavior based safety will also be invited to present. The objective of this paper is to establish and present a coherent and scientifically sound response to the critics of behavior based safety. Controlled research that demonstrates the impact that feedback has on discretionary effort will be presented and case studies will be reviewed.




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