Influencing Compliance Safety



What are you doing to motivate safety compliance?

What motivates people to work safely …or unsafely?

Safety professional often talk about the ABCs of Behavioral Safety when discussing motivation: Activators, Behavioral choices, and Consequences.

  • Things that trigger the need for us to take action are A
  • Activators guide us in making Behavioral choices.
  • But the behavioral choices or actions we take are largely influenced by the perceived Consequences of those choices or actions.

For example, consider compliance with a new procedure put in place after an incident.  The new procedure triggers specific actions, so it’s an Activator.  If signs are posted as reminders of the requirements, these are also Activators.  The procedure & signage guide us in making Behavioral choices.

However, the existence of the written procedure or signage will not motivate individuals to be compliant.  Rather, the Consequences they perceive from being or not being compliant will determine their motivation to comply or not.

If a supervisor complains about a new procedure, employees will perceive no negative consequence & no need to comply.  But, if a supervisor talks up the new expectations & then follows up, employees are more likely to comply.

If a long-time employee ignores requirements on a sign, a newer employee on the crew – wanting to fit in, will be motivated to ignore the requirements as well.  But if the long-time employee points out and follows the new requirement, the newer employee is more likely to be compliant.

Every day, each of us impacts safety by our actions and words.  Are you doing and saying the right things to be a safety motivator?