This risk assessment determines the level of risk
involved. The level of risk is indicated by a risk
assessment code (RAC). Chapter 3 discusses RACs.
A good safety attitude means the worker will
perform work in a manner that will reduce risks. A
worker with a poor safety attitude would merely accept
the risks and put up with the results. A good safety
attitude in workers depends on the safety supervisor.
You can foster good safety attitudes through
communication, motivation, and salesmanship.
Good communication between workers and safety
supervisors helps maintain interest in safety. Afloat and
shore safety committees and safety councils, discussed
in chapter 1, bring workers safety concerns to
supervisors. Through these committees and councils,
the commanding officer becomes aware of unsafe
conditions and hazards that require corrective action.
When workers see the command take action to correct
a hazard, they understand that they play an important
part in the safety program. They also see that the
command cares enough about their safety to correct
We need hazard information so that we can correct
hazards, not place blame or discipline a worker. We
must never coerce or threaten crewmembers and
workers to report hazards. They should feel comfortable
in reporting a hazard to their supervisor or be able to
report a hazard anonymously. Good communication
between workers and their supervisors encourages safe
attitudes and trust in their command. The sincerity of a
safety supervisor is obvious in how he or she deals with
safety problems and complaints.
To ensure total participation in the safety program,
the command must motivate its people. It must motivate
personnel to behave in a manner that will meet the
various goals of the command. Program success consists
of determining each persons needs. It also consists of
selecting and providing appropriate incentives
(reinforcers) to meet those needs. It also should establish
reasonable tolerance limits so that goals are achievable.
Some incentives that serve to motivate people include
Instinct for self-preservation
Desire for material gain
Desire for praise and acceptance
Fear of ridicule or disapproval
Sense of humanity
Sense of responsibility
Sense of loyalty
Desire for power or leadership
Peer pressure and a desire to conform
We cannot overemphasize the importance of
matching each persons needs to the proper incentives.
A basic principle of behavior reveals that workers will
repeat desirable behavior if the supervisor reinforces or
rewards their actions. If the supervisor doesnt reinforce
or reward a behavior, workers will stop the behavior.
Thus, a command must have an awards or incentives
system. An incentives system not only determines how
people will perform their various jobs, but how they
think about them as well. An incentives system can
reenforce mishap-free behavior and encourage safe
performance. Similarly, it can discourage unsafe and
reckless behavior through the withholding of
reinforcement. For an awards system to be effective,
however, we must provide timely reinforcement.
If a person is doing a good job, we should not wait
until the end of the year to give that person a letter of
appreciation or commendation. Immediately after the
desired behavior occurs, we should provide positive
reinforcement. That increases the chance of recurrence
of good work. Too much time between behavior and
reward may confuse the person. He or she may not know
which behavior was noteworthy.
Reinforcement must also be sincere and relate to a
persons needs People will see an attaboy given for a
job they know they did not do well for what it is: an
insincere, meaningless pat on the back. A child may
respond to such an act, but an adult will not. Similarly,
people will view other incentives that fail to satisfy real
needs as meaningless.
Providing feedback about job performance also
motivates people to perform desired actions. Motivation
increases when reward is inherent in the task itself. An
example is a technician who achieves a sense of satisfac-
tion from a job well done. Motivation is highest when
opportunities exist for achievement, recognition,
increased responsibilities, and advancement. Such
factors should be part of the job itself.