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7 Steps in Implementing Workplace Behavior Based Safety Program 

December 10, 2022
3 mins reading

Table of Contents

Ensuring the safety of both staff and customers alike is a must across all businesses. How is that achieved, and how does behavior based safety play a role?

What is Behavior Based Safety?

Behavior based safety (BBS) is an approach in recognizing and resolving risky or harmful workplace behaviors. The idea is to share and reinforce a safe work environment through monitoring unsafe behavior at work. The system focuses on how people work, analyzing the behavioral pattern and applying a form or intervention strategy to prevent the unwanted and unsafe behavior.

For example, in the restaurant business, behavior based safety can be monitoring frontliners or kitchen staff, spotting any actions that could potentially cause incidents or injuries in a restaurant, e.g. employees who improperly wash their hands before handling food, or leaving food out for too long  may be seen as engaging in risky behavior. This unsanitary practice can be detrimental to the health of both staff and customers alike, and must be addressed.

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Once this behavior has been recognized, it is possible to instruct the employee in the proper hand-washing technique and monitor them going forward to make sure they are adhering to the correct protocol. This kind of strategy can aid in lowering the possibility of mishaps and injuries in the eatery and enhancing general safety.

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Why is Behavior Based Safety Important?

Though not a legal requirement, a behavior based safety program is recommended by OSHA to keep and ensure the safety of the people at the heart of your business, but employees and customers alike.The importance of a behavior based safety program is to prevent or eliminate “human error”, one of the most common reasons for accidents or injuries in the workplace.

Human error in this instance, stems from taking risks. This is particularly true when it comes to frontline workers who are more prone to human errors when engaging in routine day to day activities. Wanting to finish a task faster, with less effort, frontline staff tend to take the risky route to achieve faster results. These changes in behavior - some even undetected - can lead to a negative pattern that can ultimately lead to harmful consequences.

By implementing a behavior based safety program, every employee in your company, from management to front-line staff, is continuously monitored to identify risky or harmful behavioral habits. Not only that, a more comprehensive program would also include giving staff ongoing feedback, inspiration, and awareness to reinforce their behavior in line with safe work norms.

Benefits of a BBS Program

Here are a few benefits of behavior based safety:

  • Improved workplace safety practices
  • Benchmarking to measure effectiveness and improvements
  • Better preparedness for unwanted incidents
  • Corrective action and reaction guidelines ready for emergency situations
  • Continuous feedback throughout the process to evaluate the effectiveness of needed changes
  • Engaged employees through active participation and rewarding positive behavior
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What Are the Steps in Implementing BBS Processes?

An approach to implementing a behavior based safety program is what is known as the ABC Model (A - Antecedent, B - Behavior, C -  Consequences). The idea is that consequences are a result of a behavior, and it can affect future behavior, depending on the feedback.

Here are the seven steps:

  1. Identify risky behavior
  2. Find the root cause of the behavior
  3. Identity solutions and corrective actions
  4. Evaluate the corrective actions
  5. Create a guideline to carry out the behavior based safety program
  6. Implement the program
  7. Evaluate the results and identify the effectiveness (did it resolve the problem/ result it increased safe or positive behaviors)

Digitalize your Behavior Based Safety Program

The importance of having a behavior based safety program is undeniable. Having your employees participate and contribute to ensuring safety in the workplace is crucial in creating a work environment that is both safe and productive.A digital solution such as Nimbly can help you with this as you can digitalize your safety and audit checklists, making data collection for behavioral monitoring and observation simpler and more efficient. With a digital system, not only is it less paperwork, but scheduling audits is easier with automated task assignment and issue tracker. Get more insight into the process through real-time media files such as photos and videos, and view the activities across all business outlets through an analytics dashboard.

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