Safety is an important part of every workplace, especially when you work in an industry like construction, mining, etc. where safety needs to be a priority above everything else to avoid any accidents or injuries from happening. And although every company working in such fields provides the necessary form of training to their employees, there’s still a lag that can cause issues. For this purpose, every business needs to invest in behavior-based safety training in order to ensure that they’re actually bringing practical changes in their own awareness levels to implement maximum safety procedures at the workplace.

EHS managers are always looking for ways to make workplaces safer and avoid risks of injuries and health hazards as much as possible. From providing the right kind of safety training to ensuring every employee has PPE based on their tasks and which hazards they are more prone to get exposed to. But even if an employee gets every necessary protective equipment and training possible, there comes a time when they get too comfortable with everything in their surroundings, and hence fail to recognize any new risks that can turn out to be a problem for them. This is where Behavior-Based Safety comes in.

BBS is basically a method of avoiding human error and improving efficiency at the workplace. It’s not about blaming the employees for any mishaps, it’s about positively reinforcing behaviors that will help them stay alert to any potential accidents.

The Basics of Behavior-Based Safety

The basics of BBS lie in helping employees perform their tasks in a safer way, determining why employees can be at risk of getting injured, and how this can be changed. For this purpose, you need to pay attention to everything that happens in a workplace on a daily basis, e.g. how much are employees protected by the management, how are workers trained on pre-existing safety procedures and standards, how are accidents and mishaps dealt with, etc.

For BBS to be implemented, all these factors must be considered. Not only should the workers be trained to become more alert, but the management should also be held responsible for making the workers’ lives safer at the workplace.

Several materials and activities are used during training to encourage safe behavior, e.g. safety signs, rules, policies, etc.

BBS Begins with Observing Positive Behaviors

When implementing Behavior-Based Safety at the workplace, it’s important that trainers take into account some of the following behaviors:

  • Observable
  • Reliable
  • Controllable
  • Positive

It should be noted that BBS should be based on objective judgment i.e. based on what you actually see an employee do rather than based on opinions or interpretations of someone else. To make this task easier, you can do a simple activity. Select a few safe behaviors and create a checklist that can be carried by employees during the course of the day. Then ask them to spot-check every behavior on the checklist with the way coworkers are performing. This way, they can easily judge whether a coworker’s performance on different tasks is safe or unsafe. This can help EHS management to provide positive feedback on positive behaviors and take preventive measures for at-risk behaviors.

The Role of Positive & Corrective Feedback in BBS

When implementing Behavior-Based Safety, it’s important to note any positively safe behaviors an employee practices, and reward them with praise, etc. for it in order to encourage them to continue with the behavior. And establishing a personal connection with them goes a long way in strengthening that encouragement.

While positive feedback is important, it’s also necessary to take note of unsafe behavior and provide corrective feedback (rather than punishment), to resolve this issue. Provide the employee with proper information, don’t punish them, rather tell them which behavior to adopt instead. Make sure your training results in positive learning rather than humiliation for the employees.

While providing corrective feedback, you should:

  • Be objective instead of pointing out the employee who made the mistake.
  • Don’t divert toward other behaviors, only focus on the behavior you’re trying to correct.
  • Describe exactly why safe behavior needs to be practiced and the consequences if it’s not.

This is all you need to know about the basics of Behavior-Based Safety training and how you can implement it in the workplace. Remember that your employees’ safety is as much your responsibility as it’s theirs, hence you need to provide all the necessary training and equipment to ensure they don’t encounter any injuries. If you’re looking for more information regarding this topic, or need to invest in PPE, visit Elite-Leather Creations.

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