Behavior Based Safety

 Behavior-Based Safety

The basic causes of most incidents and accidents can be traced back to human factors and behaviors. Using analysis of prior incidents and accidents to determine critical behaviors is a powerful method to promote lessons learned in the development of proactive safe behaviors. The behavior-based safety approach has been successfully used by many companies, large and small, to educate employees on the behaviors that lead to a safer more productive work environment.

Each site using a behavior-based safety process develops a unique list of critical safe behaviors and uses it to educate the workforce on these site-specific at-risk behaviors. Peer observation and feedback drive the implementation and offer the opportunity for all employees to participate in the safety process in a positive manner. Feedback focuses on the behaviors that are observed as being performed safely while at-risk behaviors observed are discussed to determine why employees choose to work at-risk and what it would take to perform tasks safely.

The incident triangle or incident iceberg is often used to depict the occurrence of incidents and injuries based on severity. The top of the iceberg or triangle is the infrequent but very serious case while the base of the iceberg is a non-injury event. Behavior-based approaches go even lower to the huge number of at-risk behaviors that lie beneath the visible part of the iceberg.

Dan Drown has worked with the development and implementation of behavior-based safety processes around the world. He can lead your business through the key stages of developing and, more importantly, maintaining a behavior-based safety process.

Incident Iceberg with 1:10:30:600 ratio borrowed from Frank E. Bird's 1969 study of 1,753,498 accidents

The large number of sub-surface, at-risk behaviors are targeted in behavior-based safety. The premise being that control can be gained before the occurrence of accidents and that positive reinforcement will have a better social effect.