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.


10th International Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #13
Recent Developments in Behavioral Safety
Sunday, September 29, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 2, C3
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lisa Maria Zeitler (University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt)

Behavior Based Safety (BBS) is a well-researched intervention tool for enhancing the safety of employees in many industries. This symposium is about broadening the applicability of behavioral safety interventions to new areas. In the first paper, examples of behavior-based safety interventions in small businesses are provided (a hairdresser’s shop, a dentistry, and a sheltered workshop). Issues and obstacles to BBS interventions in such non-standard situations are discussed. The second paper describes the safeguarding supportive system (SSS) at a tunnel construction site. Tunnel construction is an especially challenging field of application for behavior analytic procedures targeting safety due to the hazardous and frequently changing work environment. Based on a sincere behavioral assessment, changes to the environment resulted in a reduction of risky worker’s behavior. The third paper is about the use of a UWB-3-dimensional position detecting system to track tunnel workers movements and postures. The study provides evidence that this system can be reliably used in the environment of tunnel construction to deliver feedback about worker’s location and poster. The results are promising for including such devices in behavior-based safety interventions.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BBS, Behavioral Safety, Small Businesses, technical devices

Behavioral Safety in Small Businesses: Examples

CHRISTOPH F. BÖRDLEIN (University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt), Sophia Memmel (University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt), Alexandra Schönleber (University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt), Lisa Maria Zeitler (University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt)

Behavior-based safety (BBS) has helped workers in thousands of companies worldwide to work safely and probably saved thousands of lives. The typical area of application for behavior-based safety is in bigger companies with at least 100-200 employees. However, most people work in small businesses with only few employees. Many well-tried procedures of behavior-based safety require resources (manpower, finances, organizational prerequisites) that are not available to small businesses. The author will present three examples of adjustments of behavior-based safety to small businesses: in a hairdresser’s shop with only 2 employees, a dental surgery with 7 employees and a workshop for the handicapped with approx. 30 employees. All necessary components of behavior-based safety had been implemented: definitions of safe behaviors, observations procedures, verbal and graphic feedback, goal setting and use of positive reinforcement strategies. Data showed that meaningful changes in employee behavior and general workplace safety were possible, although they couldn’t be maintained in any case after the intervention ended. Aspects of social validity, challenges to implementation in such environments and the critical role of change agents are discussed.


Detection of Dangerous Points and Behavioral Modification from Environmental Change by Behavior Analysis Procedure Under the Safeguarding Supportive System at a Tunnel Construction Site

RIEKO HOJO (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health), Kyoko Hamajima (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan), Shigeo Umezaki (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan), Koichi Ono (Komazawa University), Shoken Shimizu (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan)

Accidents at tunnel construction sites in Japan rapidly decreased because of development of construction technology and/or promotion of machinery construction. However, it elicits fatal result if once accident occurs because safety at many tunnel work-sites is still dependent on workers attentiveness. It is important to analyze behavior pattern of workers and to apply some intervention procedure for increasing and decreasing safety and unsafe behavior, respectively. Though our final goal is effective introduction of the Safeguarding Supportive System which was established in our project to tunnel construction site, we videotaped behavior of tunnel worker as a pilot study. We detected dangerous points of tunnel site from the videotape, which were intersection points of workers and/or machines. Then intervention trial, which changed environment using a procedure of behavioral analysis, was applied to tunnel construction site for decreasing dangerous intersections. Results in the present study suggested that the intervention procedure effectively affected behavior change of workers. Also, results showed that it was sometimes possible to change behavior by change of environment, not only direct approach. We concluded that behavioral analysis procedure might be one of the most effective measure to contribute to safety in tunnel construction sites.


Experimental Trial of Three-Dimensional Location Detection of Workers Fusing the Safeguarding Supportive System at a Tunnel Construction Site

SHOKEN SHIMIZU (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan), Shigeo Umezaki (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan), Kyoko Hamajima (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan), Koichi Ono (Komazawa University), Rieko Hojo (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan)

We established a safety measure, the Safeguarding Supportive System (SSS) focusing on residual risks, which are left after 3-step method. The SSS counts entry/exit of worker at work-sites, confirms authority and license of worker, controls machine condition, and detects location of workers at real time. In the present study, we developed an UWB-3-dimensional position detecting system in the SSS, and evaluated validity of the system. We examined if the system enabled to monitor the location and the working posture of workers even if they were in a blind spot or in unclear-sighted condition in the tunnel construction site. As judgment indices of posture and condition of workers, angle, acceleration, heights and elapsed time of posture or workers were measured. Those results were integrated and classified into conditions of run, walk, falls down and crouches. We concluded that the UWB-3-dimensional position detecting system established in the present study was useful even if the condition of work-site was not good. We are planning to examine other systems in the SSS in the further study.




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