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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #58
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral Safety and Ergonomics in Organizations
Saturday, May 28, 2005
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
Marquette (3rd floor)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sigurdur Oli Sigurdsson (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Alicia M. Alvero (Queens College, City University of New York)
CE Instructor: Sigurdur Oli Sigurdsson, Ph.D.

This symposium will present data-based research in the area of postural safety and behavior analysis. Postural safety is a growing field because repetitive motion injuries can cost employees and organizations a considerable amount of time and money, as well as cause unecessary pain and difficulty for the employee. The first presenter will discuss using a descriptive assessment to identify environmental variables that contribute to safe positioning and behaviors in a pharmacy . The second presenter will present a study that utilized equipment changes and behavioral safety techniques to improve safe typing postures in an office. The final presentation will discuss factors that related to the effectiveness of a commonly used safety intervention, peer observations. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of these procedures and the future of postural safety and ergonomics in behavior analysis by an expert in the area.

A Descriptive Analysis of Safe and At-Risk Behaviors and Postures Performed by Pharmacy Employees
RHIANNON M. FANTE (Western Michigan University), Nicole E. Gravina (Western Michigan University), Alison M. Betz (Western Michigan University), John Austin (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This study employed a descriptive assessment to determine factors that contributed to ergonomic safety in a small pharmacy. The pharmacy was located on a university campus and employed eight full-time workers. Three of the pharmacy employees had experienced various repetitive-motion injuries that resulted in a total of 36 lost days and 161 restricted days. Observers collected detailed naturalistic data on the pharmacy employees’ ergonomic behavior in the presence and absence of various environmental variables including a box that they placed under the computer keyboard and shoe type. Results indicated that employee behaviors were considerably safer when certain environmental conditions were present. The descriptive analysis proved valuable for aiding in the development of an intervention.
Using Workstation Changes and Behavioral Safety Techniques to Improve Typing Postures in an Office
NICOLE E. GRAVINA (Western Michigan University), John Austin (Western Michigan University), Debra Lindstrom-Hazel (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This presentation will describe a study aimed at improving ergonomic typing postures in an administrative office. Participant's workstations were optimized for ergonomic safety by an occupational therapist. Results showed an improvement in some but not all postures. Participants were then provided information on ergonomic safety in an office setting resulting in very few improvements in safety. Finally, peer observations were implemented followed by graphic feedback. Postures that remained low in safety with the other interventions improved substantially during the behavioral safety intervention.
The Safety Observer Effect Across Various Work Conditions
ADRIENNE R. ROBEK (Queens College, City University of New York), Alicia M. Alvero (Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: The literature on the effectiveness of feedback is abundant but the literature on the effects of the observation process (in relation to safety) is relatively novel. The purpose of the present study is to expand on the existing observer effect findings. More specifically, it examines: (a) if observing and collecting safety data on someone engaged in particular tasks will increase the safety performance of the observer, and (b) if this effect varies across two work conditions: (1) alone condition and (2) presence of a peer condition. There is a probe of subjects in both conditions every three sessions in which the experimenter comes into the room and looks through a filing cabinet for two minutes. In other words, does employees safety performance vary in the presence of other co-workers (peers), when they are working alone, or in the presence of a supervisor (an authority figure), after conducting safety observations?



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