O-I's Jakarta glass manufacturing facility is using modern behavioural science principles to transform how employees approach safety on the plant floor.

A group was formed called the Nudge Team, inspired by the research of Nobel prize-winning economist Richard Thaler.

Thaler’s Nudge Theory is a concept in behavioral economics and behavioral science which proposes using positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions to influence behaviors and actions.

“Our team’s moonshot goal is to be one of the safest plants in the world,” says Sarah Ega Agustin, reliability planner at O-I Jakarta and one of two dozen members of the Nudge Team.

“We are using theories of behavioral science, then applying the mindset and concept across many areas,” she explains.

The team, originally formed in spring 2020, creates various programmes that reinforce the idea that a safety-first mindset on the plant floor is directly linked to workers going home safe to their families after every shift.

One tactic is placing stickers and signs at strategic areas on the shop floor that read: “I choose to work safely, my family is waiting at home.”

Another is creating a safety champion competition among employees.

A recent initiative is the ‘Come Home Safe’ essay contest for employees’ children. More than 80 kids submitted essays about why they want their parents to return home safe from work. Finalists were invited to read theirs on camera.

The team recorded the readings and showed the videos to the parents, capturing emotional reminders of what safety is truly about: going home safe.

“When parents see their kids pouring their heart out, the response was incredible. They are touched, and speechless – and for some, laughs,” Sarah says.

“They also responded with their commitment in safety.”