The 5 Elements Of A World-Class Behavior Based Safety (BBS) Program Part1

Introducing a Behavior Based Safety (BBS) program is a great way to change an organization’s safety culture, if done correctly. The programs I have seen over the years have taken many forms. 

Let’s take a quiz. 

Which of the following is the ideal form of a BBS program?

  1. Finding fault with employee actions and making corrections (sometimes punitive actions)
  2. Using behavior science to eliminate hazards or identify administrative controls
  3. Analyzing observational data and rewarding good behavior through a “token” system

The ideal BBS program collects large amounts of information about employee habits to affect change and hopefully take the company’s safety program to the “next level”, even making it world-class. So, the answer is (b).

A successful BBS program requires the following pieces working in unison: 

  • Dedicated involvement from every employee (even the CEO); including contractors and sub-contractors makes the program even stronger
  • A method for collecting and evaluating the data
  • Mechanisms for instituting change to policies, procedures, and systems
  • Leadership’s willingness to admit that there’s a better way and to start over

Behavioral-Based Safety is a process that considers the observable behavioral patterns of employees and aligns that to a safety standard in order to encourage safety habits at all levels of production. In practice, the implementation of safety tools such as safety signs, training, regulations, and even company culture can be altered or emphasized as a result of BBS data. BBS is most effective when treated as a continuous loop, constantly adapting to your employee, safety and business needs. These elements are included in what I consider to be the complete BBS process.

Behavior Based Safety

In the subsequent parts of this blog series on BBS, I’ll discuss the various steps of this complete BBS process in more detail.

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