ABOUT BEHAVIOURAL-BASED SAFETY (BBS)
Today, we are becoming more aware of the importance of taking human factors into account in our management of occupational health and safety management in the workplace. Usually, when an accident has occurred, human error (at-risk behaviour) is conveniently cited as a cause of the accident.
When accidents are investigated, many of the systemic causal factors are human in their origins, for example, inadequate training for the workers, bad design of workplaces/workstations, fatigue due to shift structures, inadequate tools and equipment, or an overall poor safety culture in place. In the 1930s, Herbert W. Heinrich who did a study as an insurance investigator concluded that 88 percent of workplace accidents occurred as a result of traits of character; bad occupational habits and unsafe practices by workers. Today, with the advancement of technology and better design safety knowledge, the rate of failure in equipment/facilities has reduced significantly, while human error has emerged clearly as the main cause, accounting for 96 percent of workplace accidents (DuPont Study), of the 96 percent 26 percent is a combination of unsafe acts and unsafe conditions and the other 70 percent solely caused by human behaviour.
Organizations whose safety performance have stagnated, and many have tried various initiatives to increase their performance though having a sound safety and health management system. The answer to this situation is to focus on the individual and their behaviour. Behaviour-based safety is an excellent tool for collecting data on the quality of an organization’s safety and health management system. It is an objective approach to understand why people behave the way they do when it comes to safety. It truly complements building a successful safety culture building when properly applied.
Behaviour-based safety is really by the people, of the people and for the people using positive reinforcement to change or modify unsafe (at-risk) behaviour. The behaviour-based safety system is employee-based driven for continuous improvement. It analyses tasks, hazards, and past accidents, and conduct job observation and interviews to identify safety-related critical behaviours, and uses feedback about the safety performance as reinforcement to change or modify at-risk behaviour or sustain safe behaviour.
Behavioural-Based Safety Process
BBS is about early prediction, early detection and early intervention to prevent any incident and reduction of risk level. It is a good platform for communication and involves significant workforce participation and concurrently targeting systemic causal factors for at-risk behaviours.
The real BBS benefits is beyond injury reduction and is not limited to the following:
- Safety performance improvement and productivity.
- Increased employee engagement as behavioural-based safety provides that platform to allow employees to connect through observation and feedback.
- A positive safety culture change as behavioural-based safety is an integral foundation of safety and health management system. The public image of the organization will be improved.
- Improved relationship development between workers and management staff.
- Developing trust, respect and open communication in the workforce.
- Enhanced staff development as many have observed the staff/employees have gained higher levels of confidence and communication skills.
- A strong, consistent, timely reaction to discovery of unsafe acts, whether they result in injury or not.
- An excellent tool for addressing system causes of injuries.
- It builds stronger work groups as it brings people together periodically for safety discussion, sharing, talks, decision making meetings, and allow them to organise its safety procedures and set own safety goals. In addition, it helps to reduce or eliminate bystander effect.
The main benefit of behavioural-based safety is improved organizational culture and communication throughout organization.
We provide BBS consultancy services (setting up the whole BBS Process, developing BBS Checklist, analysis existing BBS process for improvement, drafting of BBS procedure, or conducting safety climate survey or provision of data collection and analysis platform, and both customized in-house and structured (Public Run) BBS trainings.