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The Psychology of Safety Mini-Series

January 29, 2014

If you are in sync with current trends in personal safety, you likely have a checklist like the one below.

Training:  PPE, hazard awareness, Take 5, OSHA guidelines, HAZMAT, the list goes on.  You name it, you’ve done it. You do a lot of training.  Some people learn a lot, some don’t.  But it’s important and it’s necessary, so you do it.

Controls:  Your people have substituted, isolated and re-engineered everything but the kitchen sink in the working environment.  A lot of good improvements…but there are still many exposures on the floor, and they aren’t going away.

Behavior Based Safety (BBS):  Behavior matters, and safety behavior in particular.  You explain, train, observe, and give feedback.  If only simply knowing what to do or say were enough to change safety behaviors. 

Culture & Climate Surveys:  Sure, you even do these.  Tells you what people think and gives you a read on the safety culture – it’s nice to know and a good leading indicator.

But you just had another safety incident this week with a new employee needing stiches.  Evidently she slipped descending stairs, lacerating her hand and bruising her side.  How?  You’ve trained everyone, designed safety into most aspects of the work environment, and your leadership team provides solid support.  What else can you possibly do??

You’re on the right path - you’re just missing one critical piece in the puzzle.  It in


volves the individual and his/her unique safety traits or SafetyDNA.  These individual traits explain why safety incidents are not evenly spread across the workforce, but why a small percentage of the workforce typically accounts for the majority of safety incidents.  And you know this intuitively – that certain individuals are more likely to injure themselves than others, but you aren’t sure why.

Tune in each Wednesday as we deliver our mini-series on the Psychology of Safety.  These findings are based on seven years of joint research with large global corporations with thousands assessed and followed in our studies.  The result is for the first time having a robust personal safety model that explains why some of us are more and less injury prone.

  And equally important, how this data is being used globally to reduce workforce injuries.  This is brand new and we are excited to share it with you as we all work to improve employee safety.  

safety assessment

Esteban Tristan, Ph.D. Esteban Tristan, Ph.D. is the Director of Safety Solutions at PSI. He manages the development and implementation of all safety solutions and services, which address some of the critical challenges faced by organizations today in workplace safety.