One of the major misconceptions about a behavior-based approach to safety is that it is “all about checklists and observations. They wonder if it is a policing system that requires peers to tell on each others.” If so, you probably have misgivings about trying to motivate your company employees to accept it. The authors start from the premise that behavior is the universal root of all incidents and that to engineer behavioral change we need to focus on consequences. And that while punishment is appropriate for particular instances—which they enumerate—it is not a good general strategy because it focuses on what are rare events. BBS focuses on unintentional unsafe habits, since these types of safety infractions represent the majority of at-risk behaviors at work. The authors’ approach emphasizes the importance of uncovering the barriers or obstacles that prevent safe behavior on the job.
The role of the safety professional in developing sound safety programs underlies implementation of a BBS program the authors explain because “BBS is only part of an effective safety system. All the other pieces of the safety system must be in place and functioning well for BBS to work optimally. The safety professional should champion the removal of all barriers to safe behavior identified by core teams. All employees should take a responsible role in the process.”
If you are unfamiliar with behavior-based practices and its underlying, scientific principles, this book provides a concise, well-written synopsis, along with actual case studies that explain the steps other companies took to achieving surprising results. By examining both positive and negative consequences of activities the authors explain how their behavior-based approach can development safe work habits and reduce or eliminate unintentional, unsafe behavior.
ISBN # 978-0-937100-07-3
About the Authors
Judy L. Agnew, Ph.D. is a Senior Vice President of Safety Solutions at Aubrey Daniels International (ADI). Dr. Agnew has worked with clients in many industries to create behavioral interventions that ensure organizations are safe by design.
Gail Snyder is a former editor of "Performance Management Magazine."
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