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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Paper Session #521
Improvement of Posture for Ergonomic Safety
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Area: OBM
Chair: Matthew A. Taylor (Queens College, City University of New York)
Extending Self-Monitoring of Posture Technology into the Workplace.
Domain: Applied Research
SIGURDUR OLI SIGURDSSON (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: This paper will focus on one laboratory application of self-monitoring and feedback to improve computer workstation posture, and three research projects aimed at improving computer workstation posture in actual work environments. The goal of the laboratory study was to examine if fairly extended time intervals (5 minutes) between self-monitoring and real-time visual feedback opportunities would lead to improved posture. The results of the lab study suggest that moderate to minimal effects are observed with a 5-minute interval. The overall goal of the three ongoing research projects in natural settings is to determine the relative effectiveness of traditional "best practices" ergonomic interventions and behavioral interventions. The first study evaluates the effects of a single comprehensive "best practices" ergonomics assessment on worker self-reported bodily comfort and workstation variables modifiable by workers. The second study is aimed at evaluating if postural training consisting of real-time camera feedback and trainer prompting and feedback under simulated work conditions will result in improved posture at actual workstations. The third natural setting study is aimed at investigating the utility of self-monitoring and real-time visual feedback in improving posture at workplace computer workstations.
The Observer Effect with Discrimination Training Plus an Assessment of the Relation between Observer Ergonomic Safety Behavior and the Accuracy of Observations.
Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW A. TAYLOR (Queens College, City University of New York), Alicia M. Alvero (Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: This study expanded upon previous ergonomic safety behavior research in the area of the “observer effect.” The observer effect is described as an observer that performs more safely as a result of conducting safety observations. The current study attempted to tease apart accuracy of observations from the act of observing. Additionally, the design allowed an analysis of the relation between accuracy of observation and safety performance for the respective responses. The study used a multiple baseline design across two pairs of responses (lower back and shoulders/upper arms, and thighs/lower legs and feet). The phases were the following: (a) baseline, (b) behavioral safety discrimination training (BSDT), and (c) BSTD plus observation. The results suggest that BSTD alone substantially improves safety performance. Furthermore, the results suggest that the act of conducting observations in combination with BSTD further improves safety performance; however, the accuracy of observations had low relation with safety performance.
The Effects of a Still-Photo Computer Module without Feedback on Ergonomic Behaviors.
Domain: Applied Research
RHIANNON M. FANTE (Western Michigan University), John Austin (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a still-photo computer training module without feedback on safe positioning of individuals performing an assembly task and a lifting task using a multiple baseline design across behaviors and tasks. The study took place in an analogue office setting and participants were 5 college students. The dependent variable was the percentage of observations scored as safe and each session was recorded via a hidden camera. During each session, participants completed a 5 minute assembly task followed by 2 lifts and this task sequence was repeated a minimum of four times during each session. Prior to the beginning of baseline, participants received information regarding safe positions and also demonstrated the positions, they then received a safety information sheet at the beginning of every session. At the start of each session in the still-photo module without feedback phase, participants were asked to evaluate 10 still-photos of safe postures and 10 still-photos of at-risk postures for the target behavior(s). Increases in safe performance occurred when the still-photo module without feedback was implemented. The possible behavioral functions responsible for this change, the implications for these findings, and future research are discussed in detail.



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