What Triggers Behavior Change?

pasted-graphicBJ Fogg founder of  the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University  designed  a behavior model to serve as a guide to identify what stops people from performing desirable behaviors. The Fogg Behavior Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur:

  • Motivation
  • Ability
  • Trigger

When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.

When designing health and safety processes it’s important to include all three elements to drive desired behavior change. To be successful you need participation, education and encouragement built into the process.

via BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model.

Use Antibiotics Wisely


Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of antibiotics. These resistant bacteria survive and multiply – causing more harm, such as a longer illness, more doctor visits, and a need for more expensive antibiotics. Resistant bacteria may even cause death.

Parent pressure makes a difference. For pediatric care, a recent study showed that doctors prescribe antibiotics 65% of the time if they perceive parents expect them; and 12% of the time if they feel parents do not expect them. Parents should not demand antibiotics when a health care provider has determined they are not needed. Parents should talk with their health care provider about antibiotic resistance.

via CDC – Family Health – Parents: ABCs of Raising Safe and Healthy Kids.

Workplace Health Programs Increase Productivity

Workplace health programs can increase productivity

In general, healthier employees are more productive.

  • Healthier employees are less likely to call in sick or use vacation time due to illness
  • Companies that support workplace health have a greater percentage of employees at work every day
  • Because employee health frequently carries over into better health behavior that impact both the employee and their family (such as nutritious meals cooked at home or increased physical activity with the family), employees may miss less work caring for ill family members as well
  • Similarly, workplace health programs can reduce presenteeism — the measurable extent to which health symptoms, conditions, and diseases adversely affect the work productivity of individuals who choose to remain at work

The cost savings of providing a workplace health program can be measured against absenteeism among employees, reduced overtime to cover absent employees, and costs to train replacement employees.

via CDC – Workplace Health – Business Case – Benefits of Health Program – Increase Productivity.

Home Safety: 5 Tips for Preventing Falls

senior-falls-at-homeFalls are the No. 1 cause of home injuries and death in the U.S., according to the Home Safety Council. The two groups most at risk for falls are children younger than 5 and adults over the age of 70.

Try these strategies to prevent falls at home:

  • Make the bathroom a no-slip zone. Install grab bars and non-slip mats or appliques in the tub or shower. Use a bathmat with a nonskid bottom and clean up any water that splashes on floors right away.
  • Safety-proof stairs. Remove clutter from stairs and walkways. Stairs inside and out should have handrails, preferably on both sides. Have good lighting over stairs.
  • For babies and toddlers, install hardware-mounted safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Pressure-mounted gates are less effective. Gates should have the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) Certification Seal. Never use accordion-style gates.
  • Put a guard on indoor lofts, landings, balconies, and stair banisters if your child can slip between the posts. Plexiglas is a good option because it bends, is easy to cut, and doesn’t shatter.
  • Toss the throw rugs. Throw rugs are a big tripping hazard for young and old people. At the very least, tape or tack them to the floor.
  • Leave a light on. Ideally, have night-lights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and halls.
  • Make windows safe. New York City cut children’s deaths from window-related falls by a third after requiring window guards. Window screens are not strong enough to prevent falls. Install window guards with quick-release mechanisms (in case of fire) on upper floor windows. Keep furniture away from windows, especially in children’s room, and always watch children around windows.

via Home Safety: Preventing Burns, Cuts, and More.

What’s Next After Lean?

iStock_flow-chart_leanManufacturing-BlogDefinition of Lean:

Doing more with less by employing “lean thinking.” Lean manufacturing involves never ending efforts to eliminate or reduce ‘muda” (Japanese for waste or any activity that consumes resources without adding value) in design, manufacturing, distribution, and customer service processes.

So what’s “beyond lean” or the “next lean”. I have found that applying “lean” thinking to employee health and productivity  eliminates waste in the cost of health care, work comp, absenteeism and presenteeism (at work but not productive). To be successful you need a process or road map. The process is the five steps of risk management. They are:

  1. Identify Risk
  2. Analyze Data
  3. Control Risk
  4. Finance Risk
  5. Measure Results

Don’t make the mistake of thinking insurance is risk management. Insurance is not risk management; in fact it is the 4th step of the process. Skipping (or poor execution of) the first 3 steps leads the waste (higher cost) and poor results in step 5.

Payroll, Benefits and Work Comp are typically the highest cost a business has yet in many cases this area is often overlooked for waste.

Dental Health of Children

Dental_Health_Clinic_290120124956Dental decay is one of the most common chronic infectious diseases among U.S. children. This preventable health problem begins early: 17% of children aged 2-4 years have already had decay. By the age of 8, approximately 52% of children have experienced decay, and by the age of 17, dental decay affects 78% of children. Children and adults who are at low risk of dental decay can stay cavity-free through frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride. This is best gained by drinking fluoridated water and using a fluoride toothpaste twice daily. Children and adults at high risk of dental decay may benefit from using additional fluoride products, including dietary supplements (for children who do not have adequate levels of fluoride in their drinking water), mouth rinses, and professionally applied gels and varnishes.

via CDC – Family Health – Parents: ABCs of Raising Safe and Healthy Kids.

Hazard Communication | What is Hazard Communication?

right-to-know-stations-economy-is26-baChemicals pose a wide range of health hazards (such as irritation, sensitization, and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion, and reactivity). OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is designed to ensure that information about these hazards and associated protective measures is disseminated. This is accomplished by requiring chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and to provide information about them through labels on shipped containers and more detailed information sheets called material safety data sheets (MSDSs). All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must prepare and implement a written hazard communication program, and must ensure that all containers are labeled, employees are provided access to MSDSs, and an effective training program is conducted for all potentially exposed employees.

via Safety and Health Topics | Hazard Communication | What is Hazard Communication?.

Keeping Children Safe Online

Online-SafetyThere are several ways to safeguard children. Undoubtedly the most effective is to educate them from an early age about the risks they may encounter when online … what these risks are, how to spot them and what action to take. There are a number of online age-appropriate educational resources available to parents/guardians and teachers, and children themselves, covering every aspect of online safety for children.

You should also take the following measures. Remember that these factors will change as children grow up and should be reconsidered regularly.

  • Set ground rules about use of the internet, email and texts. They should learn to take responsibility for their own actions and develop their own judgement.
  • Make children aware that online contacts may not be who they say they are.
  • Children must keep personal details private.
  • Ensure that they use a family email address when filling in online forms.
  • They must never meet unsupervised with anyone they have contacted via the internet.
  • Get children to report concerns about conversations, messages and behaviours to you or another known and trusted adult. Encourage them to share their internet experience with you and make it a shared family experience.
  • Get children to report bullying online, by text or phone immediately to you.
  • Use the parental control settings on your browser, search engine and internet security package.
  • Alternatively, consider buying specialist parental control software.
  • Block pop-ups and spam emails.
  • Consider enabling online access from only a family computer located in a shared room.
  • Always sit with younger children when they are online.
  • Consider choosing a child-friendly home page in your browser settings.
  • Learn the language of chatrooms and log on yourself so you know how it works.
  • Consider setting up a family e-mail account which can be used specifically to register for websites, competitions etc.
  • Tell your children not to illegally copy copyrighted content such as music, films or software.
  • Ensure that your children do not have access to your logon account so that they cannot access, alter or delete your files.
  • Take care to limit children’s access to credit card and bank information. Similarly, ensure they cannot gain access to an online shop or other website where your details are stored.
  • Set limits on when they can use the computer, and for how long.

Remember that a lot of the above advice also applies to your children’s use of mobile phones, tablets and games consoles.

via Safeguarding Children | Get Safe Online.

The Role of HR in Risk Management

Tony-Ridley.Yes-or-No.Risk-Decision-Making2Human resources have two roles in risk management.

First, people are a source of risk, e.g., shortage of employees, people doing sloppy work, an employee refusing to take on additional responsibility, or a key employee leaving two months after completion of a one-year training program.

Second, people are important in handling risk, e.g., people using their ingenuity to solve unexpected problems, employees going the extra mile for the good of the organization, a key employee redesigning her own job to avoid unnecessary delays in getting work done, or an employee persuading a talented friend to apply for a position in the business.

via The Role of Human Resource Management in Risk Management – eXtension.