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Explaining the Four Factor S.A.F.E. Model of SafetyDNA (Part 1)

February 17, 2016

SI_SafetyImages_3-27- all yellowThe Four Factor S.A.F.E. Model of SafetyDNATM is something that gets mentioned a lot in the blogs here, and most of the time it is explained at a high level. But for new readers, or long-time readers who might need a bit of a refresher, we think it would be useful to go back over the model in more detail to make sure that everyone has a good understanding of it.

The S.A.F.E. model is made up of four psychological factors that are highly related to safe behavior and workplace injuries. When combined, these broad components join together to make up an individual’s SafetyDNA. Your unique SafetyDNA profile depends on your standing on each of these factors. These four components of the model help as act a guide for understanding different employee’s behavioral strengths and “blind spots” when it comes to safety, with each letter standing for a different factor:

S: Stays in Control

A: Aware of Surroundings

F: Follows Rules

E: Exhibits Caution

The four factors in the model are all made up of broad psychological factors that every individual has, and they all vary from person to person. These factors have all been shown to be highly related to personal risk and injury likelihood in the workplace, and each individual will differ as far as their standing in each area. Decades of published research studies on employees in various industries underlie the development and validation of the model.

Like I mentioned above, we want to give old and new readers alike a chance to learn more about the S.A.F.E. model and get a better grasp on it. To help do this, we’re going to review the model and all of its pieces on a deeper level, breaking it down into its four separate parts and doing a blog post about each one.

This post is the introductory blog, setting up the series which will be a refresher for those that are already familiar with the model. For those that aren’t, it will be a good way to learn more about how employees can differ when it comes to being safe at work. The S.A.F.E. model itself is really only one piece of the safety puzzle, but it’s an important piece focusing on the role of the individual, which is often overlooked in our efforts to improve workplace safety.

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Greg Kedenburg Greg Kedenburg is an I/O Psychologist who previously worked for PSI. He is living and working in Chicago, IL.