What are some common behaviors? How do we change those behaviors? What are some practical examples of behavior-based safety (BBS)? Those are the questions Sophia Sushailo of 3M talked about Tuesday morning at AIHce.

In her presentation, Sushailo discussed how people’s behavior affects safety. She said safety measures, such as using seat belts, is contagious. She cited examples such as shopping carts at a grocery store. She said studies have shown that people are more likely to return shopping carts to a designated rack when there are others watching or in a situation where the shopper can watch others returning the carts. The shopper is less likely to return their own cart if others are also not placing their carts in racks. The same goes for safety, Sushailo said. If workers see others wearing PPE and exhibiting safe behavior, they are more likely to follow suit, which is why it’s important to show by example rather than simply providing information.

Embracing BBS helps employers prevent additional injuries, she said. BBS is the “application of science of behavior change to real world problems” or “A process that creates a safety partnership between management and employees that continually focuses people's attentions and actions on theirs, and others, daily safety behavior.” Employers can implement BBS to learn how and why employees are acting the way they do and make changes to improve their behavior to reduce risk.