The effect of workers' visibility on effectiveness of intervention programs: Supervisory-based safety interventions

Gil Luria, Dov Zohar, Ido Erev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This paper discusses an organizational change intervention program targeting safety behaviors and addresses important considerations concerning the planning of organizational change. Using layout of the plant as a proxy for ease of daily leader-member interaction, the effect of workers' visibility on the effectiveness of supervisory-based safety (SBS) interventions is examined. Through a reinforcement-learning framework, it is suggested that visibility can affect supervisors' incentive to interact with subordinates regarding safety-related issues. Method: Data were collected during SBS intervention studies in five manufacturing companies. Results: Results suggest a reinforcement cycle model whereby increased visibility generates more frequent exchanges between supervisors and employees, resulting in improved safety behavior among employees. In turn, employees' safer behavior reinforces continued supervisory safety-related interaction. Conclusion and impact on industry: Visibility is an important moderator in supervisory based safety interventions, and can serve to increase workplace safety. Implications of these findings for safety are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this work was provided by the Prevention Research Unit, Ministry of Industry, Trade & Labor, Jerusalem. We thank the managers and line workers in participating companies who have offered us their collaboration.


  • Ear protection
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Safe behavior
  • Supervisory-based safety interventions
  • Visibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of workers' visibility on effectiveness of intervention programs: Supervisory-based safety interventions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this