The Behavior-based Safety in Italy - AARBA

We work together to reduce accidents

Our Scientific Society has signed a collaboration agreement with ISPESL, now merged with INAIL, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Prevention. Together, AARBA and ISPESL

  1. – Promote the dissemination of the protocol and Behavior-Based Safety, more generally, behavioral safety in the workplace
  2. – Design experimental research and related scientific publications on the application of the Protocol Behavior-Based Safety
  3. – Participate in research projects funded by third parties as the European Union, Ministries, local governments, etc..
  4. – Define guidelines regarding training and advice on Behavior-Based Safety
  5. – Work to make the protocol as a management system and / or Good Practice Safety


  • – ISPESL takes an active role in organizing the European Congress of B-BS
  • – A.A.R.B.A. has trained ISPESL’s staff to enable them to recognize and evaluate business processes in behavioral safety


The B-BS is the only scientific and evidence-based process for the reduction of accidents, occupational diseases and accidents in the workplace, which are caused by more than 80% of cases of dangerous behavior.

The protocol was developed by the Behavior Analyst and has been the subject of experimental research since the early 70’s: J. Komaki, B. Hopkins, B. Azarof Sulzer, D. A. Harshbarger Daniels, S. Geller, T. McSween, J. Austin.

In Europe, behavioral techniques have been adopted, especially in Anglo-Saxon subsidiaries of multinationals since the 80s. In those years, was born the first consulting firm in Italy and shortly thereafter established the first university course is specifically “OBM” University of Cagliari. The principles and scientific laws on which the B-BS is based are those of Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Science, discovered and systematized as discovered by BF Skinner at Harvard University in the first half of last century.

AARBA and the Behavior-Based Safety

A.A.R.B.A. supports the spread of Behavior-Based Safety (B-BS). B-BS is the application of Behavior Analysis to one of the most important behavioral problem: the occupational safety and health. It concerns with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment.
It is possible to drive behavior in order to prevent accidents and professional diseases, thanks to Behavior Analysis discoveries. Identifying critical behaviors, observing actual behaviors, providing feedback and positive reinforcement to workers are four key elements that lead to change and improve behavior.
By implementing the B-BS protocol, organizations creates a global frame that protects workers, facilities, and the environment from the consequences of more serious incidents.

A.A.R.B.A. has set the requirements of B-BS training: board of education and contents. A.A.R.B.A. in cooperation with ISPESL (the Italian research institute for occupational safety), AIAS; (Health Safety Italian Professional Association) and Industrial Associations, provides first-class training course in B-BS. the attendands to this course become “B-BS professional” and are booked in the A.A.R.B.A. register. A.A.R.B.A. has realized the 12th issue of the first class course on B-BS

A.A.R.B.A is implementing a sound conference activity on B-BS to industrial regional associations i.e. Confindustria of Bergamo, Confindustria of Cremona, Confindustria of Varese, Confindustria of Como, Confindustria of Mantova, Confindustria of Padova, Confindustria of Cagliari and Federazione Gomma Plastica.

Since 2006, A.A.R.B.A. organizes the European B-BS Conference.

Learn more about our B-BS courses and events!

History of B-BS in Italy


Behavior Analysis is a Science, as physics, chemistry or biology. As any other science, B-BS aims to gain the anticipation and the control of the natural phenomenon that represents its object: human behavior. As ony other science, Behavior Analysis developed in many specific intervention techniques, depending on the context. One of these contexts is work safety, for which a set of methods and techniques has been developed, which is called Behavior-Based Safety (B-BS). “The B-BS protocol is the application of behavioral science to real-world problems.” In other words, B-BS is for Behavioral Analysis what HIV’s antiretroviral therapy is for medicine. “Good practice must be built on good theory” said Leonardo da Vinci. In this sense, the primacy of this protocol lies in the solid scientific bases and in strict compliance with the laws of Behavioral Sciences. That’s the difference between B-BS and others approaches, guidelines and standards of safety that, without solid evidence of effectiveness, propose alternate fortunes to the world of users, namely businesses and direct beneficiaries, workers.

Landing in Italy

The first application of Behavior Analysis on industrial safety dates back to 1978, by Komaki, Barwick and Scott. After the application to industrial production, sale and quality, they applied the principles of Behavior Analysis to industrial safety. The experiment was successful and later published on the Journal of Applied Psycology. Judi Komaki was one of the main hosts of the 4th European Conference on B-BS. Tout se tien, the French would say. The history of B-BS in Italy is very recent though, and remains tied to US researchers and consultants who have disclosed the protocol in our country. Since Beth Sulzar Azaroff’s speech at the 1st International ABA (Association for Behavior Analysis) Conference in Venice, 2001. On that occasion, however, our country did not distinguish for active participation in the event, to the point that of the 240 participants at the convention, the Italians were only a dozen.

Science and safety on work

B-BS was born and developed in the flow of Behavioral Sciences and in particular of Applied Behavior Analysis, the Science of Behavior.

Behavior Analysis, Learning Psychology, Behavioral Psychology are largely synonymous. The behavioral science of psychology has developed in the early ’900, differing from the latter, for the object, the behavior in place of the psyche and for the method, experimental, empirical, Galileiano, which is typical of Sciences natural and completely different from that of the human sciences.

Due to its scientific origins, the B-BS is “behavior-based” in the sense that behavior is the object of study and the data source of its measurable effectiveness. This suggests that it is unacceptable to say that there may be “more B-BS”, changed at will according to the conceptual insights or speculations of this or that safety guru.

The laws and paradigms of behavior analysis, on which the B-BS is based, can’t be modified or adapted, nor are the laws of biology to a doctor. Before changing a medical protocol the physician-inventor of the change they take over the burden of proof. And that the test be successful, always and everywhere be replicated in controlled experiments and innumerable independent.

For this reason, the Scientific Society of the B-BS in Europe, A.A.R.B.A., makes sure that the Behavior-Based Safety is well received in Italy such as Evidence-Based Safety.

Learn more about our courses.