Behavior Based Safety (BBS) Observer

Course Introduction

The Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) process has made a tremendous impact on how safety is valued and perceived within the work environment.

BBS is the "application of science of behavior change to real world problems". BBS "focuses on what people do, analyzes why they do it, and then applies a research-supported intervention strategy to improve what people do".

At its very core BBS is based on a larger scientific field called Organizational Behavior Analysis.

Essentially BBS focuses on the immediate safe (or unsafe) behavior and the provision of positive reinforcement to encourage safe work behavior (and reduce at-risk behaviors).

A good BBS management system will consist of:

  •  Common goals – Both employee and managerial involvement in the process
  •  Definition of what is expected – Specifications of target behaviors derived from safety assessments
  •  Observational data collection
  •  Decisions about how best to proceed based on those data
  •  Feedback to employees being observed
  •  Continuous review and improvement

What are the benefits of BBS?

  •  Improved hazard recognition
  •  Improved employee dialog about safety
  •  Increased employee involvement in the safety management system
  •  Management no longer the "safety cop”
  •  Declined incident rates

 In the end, by implementing behavioral based safety methods, employees are prompted to work together as a team to help monitor and lessen occurrences. Encouraging employees to be proactive in both how they work and watching the habits of coworkers creates a sense of continuity and loyalty. When this happens your organization will experience a true safety culture!

How can Safety Links help?

Safety links will help your organization develop a management system that will target the safe and at-risk behaviors of your workforce. Will help you develop the necessary forms, recordkeeping and statistical documents and communications systems needed to effectively implement BBS.

Last but not least, we will work with your staff to help them understand the rationale for the BBS process and to provides them with the knowledge, tools and confidence needed to effectively conduct observations.

How effective is behavioral safety?

Research shows that behavioral safety processes typically result in improvements of approximately 30% within a range from 20% to 50%. Our results are consistent with the published studies.

How is this different from DuPont’s STOP process?

DuPont’s Safety Training Observation Process (STOP) is a management driven process that involves layered safety audits. Behavioral safety is designed and managed by employees resulting in a truly employee driven process. In addition, behavioral safety is a more positive process that places greater emphasis on employee involvement in the use of the observation data, to developing action plans for continuous improvement. As a result, behavioral safety creates a much higher and more consistent level of feedback supporting safe workplace practices as compared with a typical STOP observation process.

How do I know if my organization is ready for BBS?

In general, readiness requires three things:

  1. employees must believe that management is committed to safety
  2. management demonstrates this commitment by ensuring that facilities are properly designed and maintained
  3. employees are willing to work with management to minimize the risk of injury

How does BBS involve employees?

Safety Links creates employee ownership working with a team of employees to plan and implement the behavioral safety process. This involvement in the design process results in a high level of employee ownership and support. After the initial kick-off, employees continue to participate in training and in conducting safety observations with their work groups. In addition, they themselves use the resulting data to develop action plans to address hazards and encourage safe work practices.

Does BBS replace my current safety process?

Nope. BBS supplements other elements of your safety process by supporting safety practices and providing data that helps the organization prioritize and address conditions and design factors that contribute to unsafe acts.