Date of Award

6-2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Second Advisor

Dr. Scott T. Gaynor

Third Advisor

Dr. Ron Van Houten

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Behavior-based safety (BBS) is a widely used approach to reducing worker injuries. The BBS process is a systematic approach that relies on the identification and monitoring of at-risk behaviors (i.e., those that could lead to injury) in order to change the behavior and therefore reduce workers' exposure to risk. This type of process has demonstrated effectiveness in a variety of industries and in numerous organizations of varying sizes. One important component of a BBS process is the peer observation process (i.e., workers observe their peers' safety behaviors and deliver feedback based on those behaviors, potentially changing the behavior of not only the person being observed, but also the observer). Although research suggests that: BBS processes are effective in changing behavior (Krause, Seymour, & Sloat, 1999); being observed changes the behavior of the observed performer (Rohn, 2004); and conducting safety observations has an effect on the safe performance of the observer (i.e., the observer effect) (Sasson & Austin, 2004), no research has been conducted on the impact of the observer effect on injuries. The purpose of the current study was to conduct a retrospective analysis of existing archival organizational injury data so that we can examine the effects of participation in a BBS process on injury rates of observers versus non-observers.

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