Behavior-Based Safety Today

BBS cannot be viewed as the panacea or end-all solution for the prevention of accidents and incidents but only as one tool in the arsenal of tools, and it does not supplant a complete and organized overall approach in addressing OSH issues of today. All the components must be in place, such as training, a safety and health program, accident/incident analysis,

safety engineering, controls, interventions, etc. It is only then that BBS can become an integral part of the whole OSH initiative.

It has always been a goal to get all employees to be motivated to perform their tasks in a safe and healthy manner, but this goal is only achievable when all safeguards are in place, all feasible protections are provided, all hazards are eliminated or controlled, safety and health is managed effectively, and the workplace has been structured to protect the workforce as best as possible, etc.; then, the application of behavioral approaches can be implemented to elicit a changed behavioral pattern and attitudes toward the standard practice of all the workforce. Individuals and groups take responsibility and become involved with the prevention process by adhering to policies, safe procedures/practices, and rules with regard to working and performance of all aspects of their jobs in a safe manner without any thought of circumvention of standards of practice or best practices.

This chapter is an explanation of what BBS is, the pros and cons of using a BBS approach, and why it is used. Definitely BBS is not a cure-all for safety and health issues, nor is it meant to replace the existing safety and health program. It often is viewed as a quick fix for safety and health problems but is not easy to implement. It is an organized approach and not common sense or a new way to blame employees.

Every BBS approach must be designed to fit the needs and culture of the organization or business. It is based upon the notion that safety and health is a shared responsibility and not just a personal matter. It is a way in which the employers provide the tools to optimize safety performance in the employees' unique work environment by developing methods to measure successes regarding safety performance in accomplishments, rather than using the traditional failure rates.

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