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Safety Assessment: a S.A.F.E. Model of Understanding Safe Behavior

May 22, 2012

At some point in our lives, and potentially multiple times, all of us are likely to suffer an injury, whether at work, at play, or at home.   Many of the “accidents” that lead to those injuries are preventable.  Some accidents happen because we didn’t do what we knew we were supposed to do.  Other times they happen because we were in too much of a hurry and rushed into a situation that we normally would have avoided.  Still other times we simply weren’t paying attention to what we were doing and we paid the price for our inattentiveness.  The bottom line is that accidents happen all the time and for many reasons.  But many of them aren’t really “accidents” at all.  They are the result of decisions we made, consciously or unconsciously, which lead to behaviors we took, intentionally or unintentionally. 

Everyone is probably aware that some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others.  Being a firefighter presents a much higher risk of catastrophic injury than say, the clerk at a grocery store.  But, you’d probably be surprised to know that everyone, in all walks of life, is exposed to dangerous situations every day.  The moment you strap yourself behind the wheel of your car and head out of your driveway you are exposed to a host of environmental factors, namely other cars, which hold the risk of serious injury to yourself or others.  Do we always follow the “rules of the road”, and are we always fully paying attention while we’re driving. 

safety assessment

 Probably not.  I know I am as guilty as the next person of not being fully engaged while in the act of propelling a 3,000 lb piece of metal and plastic down an asphalt surface at 65 mph within 10 feet of 3 other vehicles doing the same thing – operated by people who are giving the same or less attention than I am.

We’re all different, and that’s a wonderful thing.  Some of us are more cautious than others and some of us are more apt to take risks and try new things.  Neither is necessarily better than the other and both have their pros and cons.  Each of us differs on important factors related to safety and the likelihood of injury, to ourselves and to others.  It’s important for us to understand ourselves and take steps to ensure that we can continue being whom we are while at the same time taking steps to minimize our chances of being injured. 

That’s where the SafetyDNA S.A.F.E. model comes in.  Research shows that there are four primary individual factors that are consistently related to safety behavior. 

Over the next several weeks, we will be exploring each of these four factors in more detail on our blog.  

Interested in learning more about what goes into finding safe and dependable workers? Read our whitepapper on the in-depth methods available to doing just that!

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Matthew O'Connell, Ph.D. Matthew O'Connell, Ph.D. was the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Select International, which was acquired by PSI. For more than 20 years, he was a driving force when it comes to designing, evaluating and integrating selection tools into systems that meet the specific needs of Global 2000 organizations. He is the co-author of the business best-selling book, Hiring Great People.