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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #244
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Advancements in Behavioral Safety Programs in the Industry
Sunday, May 28, 2023
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall A-C
Area: OBM/CSS; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Andressa Sleiman (Florida State Unviersity )
CE Instructor: Andressa Sleiman, Ph.D.

Built on the foundation of behavior analysis, behavioral safety aims to prevent harm and reduce human suffering by targeting risk and intervening upon environmental factors related to safe behaviors. Yet, behavioral safety programs are only as effective as their implementation. This symposium will report on recent advances in behavioral safety data analyses and methodologies used to document current front-line supervisors’ safety practices and conversations with their workers in the chemical, petroleum, and manufacturing industries. Specifically, the first presentation investigated the impact of individual observations on near term injury probability by analyzing 3-years of data gathered in a chemical organization. The second presentation will showcase a data-based case study of a methodology used to document the day in the life of a front-line supervisor and how that information was used to create white space in their day to allow them to interact and have safety conversations with their workers. The final presentation will present a data-based case study conducted to investigate the components of front-line supervisor’s and their worker’s quality of safety conversations in a manufacturing setting.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Behavioral Safety, Conversations, Leardership, OBM
Target Audience:

The target audience for our symposium is anyone who is interested in learning more about behavioral safety, OBM, the impact that conversations has on the supervisor-supervisee relationship, and methodologies to understand a workers day and interactions. Although the topic is being presented via a safety lens, the contents can be generalized to anyone who has a supervisor-supervisee relationship or are interested in learning more about data analysis. All attendees can benefit from this presentation, but introductory knowledge to behavior-based safety would lead to a deeper comprehension of the content presented.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusions of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Explain the impact that individual behavior-based observations has on predicting injuries and near misses (2) Discuss an effective methodology to identify ways to create white space in a workers job (3) Explain the critical components of conversations between supervisors and front-line employees

Safety Analytics in Three Organizations Suggest the Probability of Injury Decreases After a Behavioral Safety Observation

TIMOTHY D. LUDWIG (Appalachian State University), Jacob Leslie (Appalachian State University ), Yalcin Acikgoz (Appalachian State University ), Shawn Bergman (Appalachian State University ), Nickolas Granowsky (Appalachian State University )

Behavioral safety programs have been efficacious in reducing injury outcomes (Ludwig & Laske, 2023). The present study attempts to investigate the impact of individual observations on near term injury probability. Rolling sum time-series logistic regression analysis was performed on 3-years of behavioral safety observations and incident data (injuries and near misses) across two divisions of a chemical organization (manufacturing & maintenance). Each additional safety observation performed by an employee decreased the likelihood of an incident occurring over the next three days by 17% (manufacturing) - 23% (maintenance). At current rates of behavioral safety observations in these divisions were related to the avoidance of 7 (manufacturing) - 44 (maintenance) incidents per year.


The Day in the Life of a Front-Line Supervisor: A Case Study Conducted to Create White Space in Their Day to Increase Safety Conversations

ANDRESSA SLEIMAN (Florida State Unviersity ), Timothy D. Ludwig (Appalachian State University)

We will present a data-based case study that we conducted in a refinery to document the day in the life of a front-line supervisor (FLS). Through our assessment we were able to identify several opportunities to streamline or eliminate tasks in order to create white space in their day for them to be able to interact with and have more meaningful safety conversations with their workers. The need for this case study arose based on the exigency of FLS to allocate more of their time on the field interacting, training, and supporting their team, to ultimately improve production and decrease injuries. Throughout this presentation we will explain the methodology we used to gather data, highlight the benefits and the limitations of using this methodology, and we will finish by explaining how we used the information to make positive changes in the refinery.

Measuring Safety Conversations in a Manufacturing Setting: A Step Towards Improving Communication in the Workplace
DAVIS SIMMONS (University of Florida), John Austin (Reaching Results), Nicole Gravina (University of Florida)
Abstract: Prior research has demonstrated a relationship between supervisors having safety conversations and improved safety performance. However, researchers have not evaluated the components of safety conversations. Drawn from the literature, we measured critical components of conversations between supervisors and front-line employees in a manufacturing setting. Components included the topic of the conversation, the presence of back and forth in the conversation between individuals, and the presence of open-ended questions, pinpointed positive feedback, pinpointed constructive feedback, negative comments, and other measures also important to the organization. Although some components were present across conversations, the data suggests many components did not occur consistently. Measurement considerations and possible interventions to improve conversations will be discussed.



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