Self-Observations for Lone Workers and Small Crews

by Terry E. McSween, Ph.D.

Many organizations struggle to address the safety of lone workers and small crews. One strategy to get those workers involved in an organization’s safety improvement efforts is through a process of self-observations. My clients are often skeptical of self-observations. That skepticism usually has two sides: one is grounded in the fact that self-observations have to be managed differently than peer to peer observations; the other is a false belief that self-observations don’t work. The fact is that self-observations are more difficult to sustain, requiring higher levels of support from both leadership and the safety committee. I’ll discuss the nature of that support in the paragraphs below. The false belief is that self-observations cannot work.

Self-Observations in Behavior-Based Safety

by Terry E McSween

Many of today’s organizations have employees who work independently, either alone or in small crews. Examples of such positions include nurses involved with home health care or hospice, utility linemen, utility meter readers, gas company employees working pipeline, delivery drivers, and many others. In such organizations, a self-observation process is often a better fit and easier to sustain than peer observations.

Using Self-Monitoring for Drivers in a Behavior-Based Safety Process

By Don Nielsen, Ph.D.

Safe driving requires a number of simultaneous and often complex behaviors. The trend in accidents and injuries in many countries is increasing. Speeding and distractions are two of the many factors involved in accidents and injury.

Self-monitoring for drivers is an approach to change their behavior by manipulating antecedents, observing and recording target behaviors, and receiving feedback and consequences. There are basic elements to a self-monitoring approach. Drivers must have an understanding of the process and driver representatives need to be involved in the development of the process. Target behaviors are identified and a method for recording behaviors is developed. Once a baseline is established, attainable goals are identified along with behavior change strategies. As the process moves along, data is shared with employees.

Behavior-Based Safety Champion at El Paso Corporation: Anthony "Corky" Carter

“Think of looking at the U. S. map and in your mind go from Houston up through Louisiana, to the right through Mississippi, through the middle of Tennessee, part of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and up to New York. That was the pipeline when we started out,” says Anthony “Corky” Carter, certified safety professional and principal safety representative.

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