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Bkgd Refs on Behavior Analysis and Public Policy - Public Safety

Page history last edited by Regina Claypool-Frey 10 years, 10 months ago


Organizational Behavior Management Network


Organizational Behavior Management at Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies





Alavosius M.P, & Sulzer-Azaroff B. (1990). Acquisition and maintenance of health-care routines as a function of feedback delivery. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 23(2),151–162.

doi: 10.1901/jaba.1990.23-151.

Two schedules of feedback were examined to determine their relative effects on the acquisition and maintenance of three health-care routines: feeding, positioning, and transferring physically disabled patients. Four direct service providers' performances in the natural environment were measured weekly. Concurrent schedules and multiple baselines across subjects and response classes were used to evaluate the effects of written instructions combined with either continuous, intermittent, or nofeedback schedules. Results showed that instructions alone led to slight and usually brief changes. Marked improvements were noted after feedback was introduced, with the continuous schedule producing more rapid acquisition. Follow-up measures indicated performance maintenance for both schedules. Subjects rated the feedback programs favorably and recommended provision of this service to co-workers. Cost estimates indicated that, although considerable time was spent developing the observational system, the feedback procedure was relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and did not interfere with patient care.

DESCRIPTORS: feedback, health, maintenance, safety, task analysis


Cunningham, T.R., & Austin, J. (2007). Using goal setting, task clarification and feedback to increase the use of hands-free technique by hospital operating room staff. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40(4), 673-677.

doi: 10.1901/jaba.2007.673-677.

We evaluated the effects of a behavioral treatment on the safe passing of sharp instruments using the hands-free technique among hospital operating room personnel during surgical procedures. Treatment consisted of participative goal setting, task clarification, and feedback. The average percentage of sharp instruments passed safely increased from 32% to 64% and 31% to 70% between baseline and treatment phases in the inpatient and outpatient surgery units, respectively. Five-month follow-up data suggested maintenance of treatment effects. These findings suggest the utility of organizational behavior management strategies in reducing risky behavior in hospital settings.

Keywords: injury reduction, organizational behavior management, goal setting, feedback, task clarification, surgical procedures


The Psychology of Safety Handbook (2001).[2nd Ed/]

E. Scott Geller. Boca Raton, FL:CRC Press, LLC.

ISBN:  9781566705400

Instructional Safety - Psychological aspects


Working safe: how to help people actively care for health and safety (2001). [2nd Ed.]

E. Scott Geller. Boca Raton, FL:CRC Press, LLC.

Industrial safety - psychological aspects.

ISBN-13: 978-1566705646


Komaki J, Barwick K.D, & Scott L.W. (1978). A behavioral approach to occupational safety: Pinpointing and reinforcing safe performance in a food manufacturing plant. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63:434–445.


Komaki J, Heinzmann AT, & Lawson L.(1980). Effect of training and feedback: component analysis of a behavioral safety program. Journal of Applied Psychology, 65(3),261-70.


Ludwig, T. D., & Geller, E. S. (1997). Assigned versus participative goal setting and response generalization: Managing injury control among professional pizza deliverers. Journal of

Applied Psychology, 82, 253-261.


Staddon, J. (2008). Distracting Miss Daisy: Why stop signs and speed limits endanger Americans. Atlantic, July/August.



Sulzer-Azaroff, B. & Austin, J. (2000). Does behavior-based safety work to reduce injuries? A survey of the evidence. Professional Safety, July, 19-24.


Sulzer-Azaroff, B., & Harshbarger, D. (1995) Putting fear to flight: While enhancing quality of performance. Quality Progress, 28 (12), 61-65.


Wirth, O. & Sigurdsson, S. O. (2008). When workplace safety depends on behavior change: Topics for behavioral safety research. Journal of Safety Research, 39, 589–598.

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