People-Based Safety: The Human Dynamics of Achieving an Injury-Free Workplace

Workshop 4

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2022
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: TBA

Steve Roberts, Ph.D.
Co-Founder & Senior Partner
Safety Performance Solutions (SPS)

This workshop focuses on the individual and system factors that influence risky behavior, the principles of behavior and person-based psychology, hazard recognition and human error reduction, principles of safety leadership, and components of a successful observation and feedback process to help organizations achieve an injury free workplace.


  • Understand the components of an Ideal Safety Culture
  • Use principles of behavior-based psychology to facilitate an Ideal Safety Culture
  • Use principles of person-based psychology to facilitate an Ideal Safety Culture
  • Describe leadership’s role in supporting an Ideal Safety Culture
  • Describe the most common barriers to a successful BBS Process
  • Describe how to integrate the best aspects of BBS and HOP to create a more comprehensive safety process.
  • Understand how to apply a continuous improvement cycle to identify, understand, and improve the factors influencing safe and at-risk behavior.
  • Understand how to increase empowerment, ownership and involvement in occupational health and safety.
  • Identify hazard recognition traps that often prevent us from seeing seemingly obvious hazards.
  • Describe the various types and causes and how to reduce human error.
  • Learn how to align safety management systems to drive positive culture change.
  • Learn how to use safety culture assessments to identify and drive improvement opportunities.

Steve Roberts, Ph.D.

Steve is co-founder and senior partner at Safety Performance Solutions, Inc. He earned an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from West Chester University and a M.A. and Ph.D. (Under Dr. E. Scott Geller) in Applied/Experimental Psychology with a focus in Organizational Behavior Management from Virginia Tech.

His specific areas of expertise include the design, implementation, and evaluation of behavior and people-based safety processes, the assessment of organizational culture to guide safety interventions, increasing employee involvement in safety activities, organizational management systems design, organizational leadership development, and understanding and reducing human error in the workplace.

Before co-founding Safety Performance Solutions in 1995, he was a research associate with Management Systems Laboratories (MSL) of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department of Virginia Tech and safety consultant with Make-A-Difference, Inc. He has taught Research Methods at Virginia Tech, and for five years served as a Project Manager at the Center for Applied Behavior Systems (CABS) of the Psychology Department at Virginia Tech, where he participated in and helped direct graduate and undergraduate research projects which combine the technology of applied behavior analysis with theories from industrial, experimental, and personality psychology to solve real-world problems and improve people's quality of life.

Steve has published articles in a number of peer reviewed academic journals including American Journal of Health Promotion, Applied and Preventive Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, and Journal of Safety Research, as well as Safety & Health, Security Management, and People, Land and Water Magazines. Steve also authored the book chapter Actively Caring for Occupational Safety: Preventing Injuries with People Based Safety, in Dr. E. Scott Geller’s 2013 book Actively Caring for People: Cultivating a Culture of Compassion.

Steve is a regular speaker at both public and corporate sponsored safety events. Some of Steve’s recent consulting clients include ExxonMobil, East Jordan Iron Works, Newmont Mining, ESAB, El Paso Corporation, Alpha Natural Resources, Owens Corning, and Specialty Granules. Steve has taught the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Seminarfest course People-Based Safety each of the last 6 years and taught it again in 2013.