What Is Behavior-Based Safety (BBS)?
A behavior-based safety (BBS) approach uses observations of employees to identify unsafe practices and areas of risk in an organization — and to reinforce safe practices. In short, it is an audit of the actions and behaviors of people in the workplace. It requires a strong partnership between frontline workers and management and works best as part of a comprehensive safety program. The goal of BBS is to correct unsafe work conditions through the hierarchy of hazard of controls where possible, as opposed to focusing exclusively on changing employee behavior.
Why Do BBS?
An effective BBS program protects people, productivity and profitability by encouraging all employees to take an active role in their safety and the safety of others. At its best, BBS is a ground up and top down approach to identifying unsafe actions in the workplace and helps drive a cohesive and proactive culture of safety. A solid BBS approach:
Takes a systematic approach, examining the underlying motivation of actions, in order to increase safe behavior
Emphasizes improving conditions as well as behaviors, rather than focusing on length of time without injury
Is an ongoing effort that works in conjunction with a broader comprehensive health and safety program
Should not focus exclusively on changing employee behavior as a risk mitigation strategy
Uses the right technology to track observations, manage corrective action workflows, and provide transparency