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Schein and Michie Behavioural Safety Synthesis

ehavioral safety is a critical aspect of workplace safety, and developing effective models to promote it is essential. Edgar Schein and Susan Michie are two experts whose work offers valuable insights into how to create a successful behavioral safety model.

Behavioural safety is influenced by three primary factors: individual factors, organizational factors, and contextual factors. These factors interact in complex ways, and any effective model for behavioural safety must take them into account.

Individual factors refer to the characteristics of employees that influence their behaviour, such as personality traits, attitudes, and beliefs. Organizational factors refer to the culture, policies, and practices of the organization, which can either support or hinder behavioral safety. Finally, contextual factors refer to the external factors that can influence behavior, such as the physical environment, regulatory requirements, and the broader societal context.

Drawing on the work of Schein and Michie, effective behavioural safety can be based on the following principles:

  1. Build a strong safety culture: Developing a strong safety culture is critical to promoting behavioural safety. This involves creating a workplace where safety is prioritized, and where employees are empowered to take ownership of safety.

  2. Focus on individual behavior: While organisational and contextual factors are important, individual behavior is ultimately what drives safety outcomes. Therefore, any effective model for behavioural safety must focus on supporting the desired individual behavior.

  3. Provide feedback and coaching: Feedback and coaching are essential to promoting behavioural change. Employees need regular feedback on their behaviour, as well as coaching and support to help them make changes.

  4. Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for promoting behavioural change. Rewards and recognition can help motivate employees to engage in safe behavior, while punishment and negative feedback can be counterproductive.

  5. Foster a sense of ownership: Employees must feel a sense of ownership over safety in order to be truly invested in it. This can be achieved by involving employees in safety initiatives, and by giving them a voice in safety decision-making.

  6. Continuously evaluate and improve: Finally, any effective model for behavioural safety must be continuously evaluated and improved. This involves monitoring outcomes, gathering feedback from employees, and making changes as needed.

Behavioural safety is influenced by individual, organizational, and contextual factors, and any effective model must take all of these factors into account. By building a strong safety culture, focusing on individual behaviour, providing feedback and coaching, using positive reinforcement, fostering a sense of ownership, and continuously evaluating and improving, organizations can create a workplace that prioritizes safety and promotes behavioral change.

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