The reinforcement of safe behaviour by positive feedback, in other words behaviour modification (B. Mod.), is one of the most successful safety innovations achieved during the past 20 years. A literature review of 24 empirical studies noted that every study had produced a change in work behaviour. According to the authors: “Few literature reviews find such consistent results”. The effect on accidents is explained by stating that unsafe acts are modified through feedback to safe acts. The studies demonstrate that the effect on injuries is sometimes much greater than could be expected from the behavioural change. This might be because the target behaviours to be modified are properly chosen to represent critical behaviours that everyone involved wanted to change. A positive change encourages people to try to solve other problems as well, and this gradually leads to overall improvements. A B.Mod. programme can act as an initiator of a cultural change leading to sustainable effects within the organization.
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