A behavior-based safety (BBS) program aims to make permanent changes in the manner in which people work. Safety becomes a way of life that is baked into everyone’s behavior. It is important to recognize, however, that a BBS program does not attempt to chance who a person is, and it most certainly is not a pop-psychology program. The program is directed just to a person's actions.
BBS helps employees identify and choose a safe behavior over an unsafe one. The process also encourages employees to work with their colleagues on improving everyone's understanding of effective and ineffective behaviors as they apply to safety. Much of the change is brought about by observing how people work, identifying at-risk behaviors and then following up, even if doing so could cause offense. (It is also important to identify behaviors that are exceptionally good and to make sure that people receive the appropriate credit.) If an unsafe behavior is observed, a non-threatening discussion should follow. Problems are seen as opportunities to improve safety performance and to share concern, coach and learn. All persons, including company workers and contractors, create and follow a mind-set of "doing everything right".
Much of the change is brought about by observing how people work and identifying at-risk behaviors, along with those actions that merit positive feedback. If an unsafe behavior is observed, a non-threatening discussion should follow. Behavior-Based Safety is part of the bigger picture to do with a company's culture. It also has a strong overlap with other programs such as "Stop Work Authority". As such it has the following features:
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Net Zero by 2050 to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.