There is no one-size-fits-all approach to safety in the workplace. What works for one business might not be effective for another. That’s why it’s important to have a variety of safety programs in place to find the right one for your business. One popular safety program is behavior based safety.
In this guide, we will discuss what behavior based safety is and how you can implement a BBS program in your business.
What is Behavior Based Safety (BBS)?
Behavior based safety is a proactive approach to safety that focuses on changing behavior to prevent accidents and injuries. The idea is that if employees are aware of the potential hazards in their work environment, they will be more likely to take steps to avoid them.
BBS aims to reduce risks, hazards, and incidents by monitoring a person’s behavior and identifying what follows when this behavior occurs. This program involves analyzing the consequences of behavior and providing proper feedback so that you can correct the behavior.
Importance of Behavior Based Safety
Behavior-based safety relies on good cooperation and trust between leaders and their subordinates. This program is important because it provides long-term behavior changes resulting in a safer workplace. At the same time, it also provides solutions for eliminating hazards and risks. BBS fosters a safe culture in the workplace, which is important for ensuring success.
What is a Behavior Based Safety Program?
A behavior based safety program is a behavioral intervention that aims to provide effective reinforcement, feedback, and recognition to employees. This program is designed to change behavior and improve safety in the workplace. At the same time, it also increases situational awareness of the employees based on their behavior. The HSA recommends the following steps:
- Form a design team that will institute the BBS program.
- Create a list of behaviors that are deemed unsafe. You can gather this information through safety audits, toolbox talks, near-miss reports, and other forms that contain information about workplace safety.
- Create a behavior based checklist about the unsafe behaviors that were identified. Edit the checklist when necessary before actual implementation.
- Determine the right measurement system that can effectively count the frequency of safe and unsafe behaviors.
- Conduct and monitor behavioral observations.
- Provide appropriate feedback depending on employee behavior.
- Use employee behavior observation data to make the necessary changes.
- Encourage employees to set realistic, attainable goals. Let the employees determine which behavior needs to change or improve. Remind employees to focus more on the safety processes instead of the results.
Who is Involved in a BBS Program?
Everyone in the organization is responsible for enforcing workplace safety. However, certain roles and responsibilities must be assigned for the program to be effective.
- A behavior based safety coordinator should lead the behavior based safety program. This person is responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring the program.
- The behavior based safety team is responsible for conducting behavior observations and providing feedback to employees. This team should be composed of employees from all levels of the organization.
- The behavior based safety observer is responsible for conducting behavior observations. This person should be trained to conduct behavioral observations and provide feedback properly.
- The behavior based safety champion is responsible for promoting the program and ensuring its success. This person should be knowledgeable about behavior based safety and be able to communicate its importance to the rest of the organization effectively.
Micro Approach Vs. Macro Approach to BBS: What’s the Difference?
There are two approaches to behavior based safety: the micro approach and the macro approach.
Mico Approach BBS
The micro approach focuses on individual behavior. It aims to change employee behaviors that can improve safety in the workplace. This BBS approach is heavily based on the ABC behavior model. This behavioral safety process follows seven key steps:
- Identify problematic employee behaviors, and focus on unsafe or risky behaviors (e.g., not wearing PPE)
- Determine the root cause of these behaviors
- Create possible corrective actions
- Evaluate the corrective actions
- Develop necessary procedures to carry out the BBS program.
- Implement the BBS program
- Evaluate every data you gather from the BBS program
- Check the corrective actions that solved the problem or promoted safe behaviors.
Macro Approach BBS
Macro BBS focuses on setting permanent change within the organization. This approach is about enforcing a total safety culture that most organizations want to achieve with their respective safety programs. This behavioral safety process follows six key steps:
- Analyze, assess, and identify current workplace culture.
- Train and orient every employee about behavior based safety.
- Encourage employees to take part in the BBS program.
- Promote awareness, self-observation, self-management, and accountability within the workplace.
- Provide continuous employee commitment and support.
- Evaluate and provide adequate feedback.
The Macro BBS strategy needs to be applied to all levels of the organization—peer, self, leader, and organization—for the approach to be effective and successful.
Elements of Behavior Based Safety System
Every BBS program involves the following key elements to ensure a successful and effective implementation:
Standards for Behavior and Performance
These are the expectations set for employee behavior in the workplace. It involves the vision and mission, priorities, processes, policies, and methods of implementing BBS. Make sure to communicate this to every participant in the program.
These are the materials and tools needed to support the behavior based safety program. These tools include tools, equipment, facilities, funds, and funds necessary to implement an effective BBS system. It will also involve psychosocial resources such as time, training, leadership, trust, and culture.
These elements ensure that behavioral observations are tangible and measurable. To do so, create a criteria where you can evaluate performance and use the information to provide objective feedback on behaviors. The data collected should also be used to improve safety in the workplace.
Consequences are what drives behavior. For BBS to be effective, consequences need to be in place to reinforce desired behavior and discourage undesired behavior. The two types of consequences are positive and negative consequences
Positive consequences are rewards that reinforce desired behavior, while negative consequences are punishments that discourage undesired behavior. It is important to note that consequences should be immediate, consistent, and proportionate to the behavior.
The program must be fair and just, and all employees must be treated equally. The program should also target behavior that can lead to injury, not just unsafe behavior. Lastly, the program should be flexible to accommodate the organization’s and its employees’ needs.
This element allows the program to be improved and updated constantly. Doing so will also determine whether the program is effective or not. At the same time, it will help identify any issues with the program and how to address them.
Use DATAMYTE To Create Behavior Based Safety Systems
Every employee needs to participate in the behavior based safety program. With DATAMYTE and its Digital Clipboard, you can effectively collect behavioral observations of everyone in your organization.
With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, managers and leaders can effectively create behavior based checklists and other relevant forms to ensure that every behavior is observed. The collected data can then be used to provide objective feedback, identify trends, and improve safety in the workplace.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard lets you:
- Create a comprehensive workflow focused on implementing an effective behavior based safety system
- Centralize all behavior based safety observations in one place
- Analyze behavior based safety data to identify trends and improve safety in the workplace
- Ensure that behavior based safety observations are consistently and accurately collected
- Monitor behavior based safety progress and compliance in real-time
With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you have an all-in-one solution to help you create and implement an effective behavior based safety system. With its comprehensive workflow and data-driven insights, you can improve workplace safety and prevent accidents. Book a demo today!
When implemented correctly, behavior based safety can be an effective way to improve safety in the workplace. It is important to remember that BBS is a journey, not a destination. There will always be room for improvement, and the goal is to strive continuously for a safer workplace.