Welcome to the Safety Center
The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™ takes pride in recognizing companies who achieve world-class behavior-based safety.
This seal tells the world that your workplace meets the high standards of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™. A recognized source of scientific information on behavior.
Accreditation recognizes exemplary long-term performance in the application of behavioral principles to workplace safety. Know that your programs meet principles of behavior-based safety standards.
Challenges everyone to do better
As an accredited company, you assume leadership in safety and stand out in your industry. Leaders innovate and set an example for others. Your company will help others achieve similar safety performance through CCBS. Others will look to you for guidance.
Brings a competitive advantage in business
Customers value companies who care about the safety of their employees. High quality safety performance is good business.
Provides expert – and neutral – third-party assessment and feedback
An accreditation site visit includes specific feedback and recommendations from behavioral safety experts on your program’s strengths and development needs. Your program and your people will benefit from this feedback while learning from CCBS behavioral scientists, who are there to assess your program, not sell consulting services.
Recognizes safety behaviors – tough jobs done well
Many companies had times when people were hurt or injured at work. Safety engineering has considerably improved conditions over many decades of effort. Leaders and managers of leading companies learn that managing safety behaviors is key to achieving and sustaining outstanding safety performance. Accreditation verifies that behavior management is helping people work together to identify risks, change critical behavior, prevent losses and save lives.
Commission on Accreditation – Behavior-Based Safety
The Commission is comprised of CCBS experts who are experienced in the both the implementation and evaluation of high quality behavioral safety program as well as behavioral research.
Dwight Harshbarger, PhD, Chair, West Virginia University
Mark Alavosius, PhD, Chair, University of Nevada, Reno
Donald H. Kernan, Key Activities Management & SUPERVALU Inc. (retired)
Angela Lebbon, PhD, Eastman Chemical Company
Timothy Ludwig, PhD, Appalachian State University
Sigurdur Sigurdsson, PhD, The Icelandic Centre for Research
Oliver Wirth, PhD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Alan Cheung, Costain, Ltd.
Eric Nickless, Marathon Petroleum Company LLC, Illinois Refining Division (IRD)
The Application Process
To be eligible for Accreditation applicants must demonstrate:
- The company’s or site’s Principles of Behavior Based Safety (PBBS) program is a valid behavioral program (i.e., the program measures behavior change and solutions are based on principles of behavior),
- The PBBS program is effective (e.g., produces increases in critical safety behaviors and decreases in incidence rates or other safety metrics that exceed company-wide and / or industry averages),
- That after implementation, the PBBS program is sustained and safety performance improvements are maintained for a minimum of three continuous years.
Applicants with developing PBBS programs not yet achieving the above eligibility criteria can apply for review at the Bronze of Silver certification levels. The CCBS Accreditation Commission may then contract to assess the organization’s program and submit an objective review of its current operations and provide recommendations to guide program development.
Click on the links below for more information about:
For further information or assistance, contact Dr. Dwight Harshbarger, Managing Commissioner, Commission on Accreditation, email@example.com
Why all the interest in behavioral safety?
The application of behavioral research to the solution of human problems is building and demonstrating the first effective and reliable technology of behavior change in human history. No other field of psychology or the behavioral sciences has been able to successfully do this. In workplaces with troublesome rates of unsafe performance, behavioral safety programs, properly implemented, produce significant improvements in safe performance and major reductions in workplace injuries and illnesses. Human suffering and financial costs are sharply reduced. Moreover, the costs of producing these gains in human performance are a good investment, paying for themselves many times over.
What is Behavioral Safety?
The purpose of this section of the CCBS web site is to provide basic information about proactive approaches to increasing safety in the workplace and in the community. These approaches are based on sound, research-based, behavioral practices and are easy to use with minimal training. What makes the behavioral science approach to safety unique is:
(a) a reliance on information (data) gathering,
(b) a focus on what people do for safety,
(c) an emphasis on making decisions about safety successes and areas for improvement based on the data gathered, and
(d) the inclusion of recognition for safety-related behaviors, instead of just penalties for at-risk behaviors.
“Behavioral Safety” also involves employees in key aspects of the safety process. Thus, relative to traditional safety, Behavioral Safety is an employee-driven continuous improvement process.
More specifically, the behavior-based approach to achieving safety improvements is a process of involving workers in defining the ways they are most likely to be injured, seeking their input, and asking them to observe co-workers in order to determine progress in the reduction of at-risk behaviors (Petersen, Jan. 1997; Professional Safety). This may be accomplished by a core group of “in-house” leaders who champion the process, or by each worker with minimal efforts and time requirements. The characteristics of each work culture determine which process will be most effective. Regardless, behavioral observations are the key to successful Behavioral Safety and are necessary for sustained safety improvements.
Research has shown the behavior-based approach to be cost effective, primarily because behavior-change techniques are straightforward and relatively easy to administer. In addition, safety improvements can be readily assessed by on-site personnel monitoring target behaviors.
Everybody who works to reduce accidents and improve safe performance is concerned with human behavior. “Behavior and accidents is what it’s all about,” is a commonly heard phrase.
Is everybody who is concerned with reducing workplace injuries and illnesses, and the work practices associated with these injuries and illnesses, using “behavioral safety”? While behavioral safety shares a concern with human behavior and safe performance in the workplace with other approaches, it is more than that. Behavioral safety is the application of behavioral research on human performance to the problems of safety in the workplace. This means that any safety program labeling itself as a behavioral safety program must meet the standards of behavior analytic research as practices are applied to the workplace.
How does Behavioral Safety work?
Behavior analysis is the science of behavior change. Applied behavior analysis is the application of the science of behavior change to real world problems, such as safety performance. As we do this, we are looking for functional or systematic relationships between Environmental changes, i.e., the stimuli or cues that lead to behavior
The behavior itself, such as specific areas of work performance
And the consequences of behavior, i.e., the positive or negative responses that occur immediately after a person performs a particular work task.
These relationships have been exhaustively studied in the laboratories. Applied behavior analysis applies the lessons learned in laboratory research to the challenges of human behavior in everyday life. In this case, to the challenge of building safe practices in the workplace. To do this, sound behavioral safety programs include the following basic steps: Behaviorally specify the desirable performance
For example, if we want to improve safe practices in a certain workplace, we first specify as behaviorally as possible, those practices. For example, correct forklift operation or lifting behavior. Or, we may specify the outcomes that are achieved if safe practices are performed. For example, a shop floor that is free of hazards such as wires or oil slicks that could trip an employee and cause a fall. The process of specifying these criteria for good performance results in a measuring instrument that can be used to periodically sample safety performance in the workplace and measure human performance. Measure safety performance
Using the criteria for safe workplace performance, we periodically sample and measure safety performance against those criteria. These measurements are recorded and become part of a data base; a cumulative log of performance for each workplace. Shape safe performance through feedback and other consequences
Behavioral research on learning teaches us powerful lessons about how to teach and build performance improvement. First among these lessons is the power of consequences. Consequences shape performance. One very powerful consequence is feedback on workplace performance. Properly designed and used, performance feedback will produce learning and positive performance changes – often very dramatically. As a practical matter, once measurement takes place, a sound behavioral safety program will provide timely, usually immediate, feedback on workplace safety behavior to the employees whose workplace is being observed. It will not be delayed for lengthy periods of time. In addition, feedback will focus on positive gains in performance, not negative performance decrements. It will be predictable and certain. And, it will be delivered in ways that are meaningful to the people who are receiving it. The posting of graphs of the performance of work teams or departments in building safe performance over time is another form of feedback that sets the occasion for coaching and feedback on workplace safety performance. As teams and departments improve in their achieving high levels of safe practices in the workplace, celebrations are often held, further acknowledging and reinforcing safe performance. These are only a few highlights of a fascinating field, behavioral safety. We hope you will sample some of the applied research articles listed in the References. Perhaps they will be applicable to your work setting.