Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John Austin

Second Advisor

Dr. C. Richard Spates

Third Advisor

Dr. Brad Huitema

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Eleven computer terminal operators participated in a series of interventions aimed at increasing safe ergonomic performance. All participants received ergonomics training and performance feedback, and approximately one half of the participants conducted observations for safe behavior. Conducting observations of safety-related behavior is a critical component of the Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) process, yet few researchers have studied the effects of conducting observations on the behavior of the observer. This study sought to examine the effects of conducting BBS observations on the safe performance of the observer in an applied setting. A multiple baseline across participants design was used to assess the effects of the interventions in two departments of a large mid-western hospital. All participants increased performance over baseline conditions, and most participants maintained higher levels of performance at a four-month follow-up evaluation. The possible behavioral mechanisms responsible for performance increases, and the implications of these findings are discussed in detail. Future research in this area is suggested, and these recommendations focus on several aspects of verbal-behavior as directions for future study.