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What is behavior based safety (BBS)

behavior based safety program bbs

Behavior-based safety

One of the causes of accidents is human behavior. According to OSHA, In 2022 alone, there were more than 5486 fatal work injuries in the USA and 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illness cases. The surface causes of this incident are usually known, but the root causes have to be determined from a series of investigations. However, even after determining the root causes and surface causes, some accidents still re-occur, which is of great concern to everyone involved in work activities. 

Introducing behavior-based safety will prevent some of these accidents from repeating themselves. Behavior-based safety examines the overall safety of the workplace by focusing attention on the daily behavior of workers. Behavior-based safety focuses more on determining the root causes of accidents or incidents through the unsafe behavior of workers and finding the best way to improve workers’ behavior. 

Behavioral-based safety looks at the interaction between the worker, the work environment, and the behavior. These three factors determine behavioral-based safety in the workplace.

The three significant variables in behavior-based safety programs for the workplace.

  • The worker – the worker’s experience, skills, exposure and physical capabilities- are usually the main thing here. These things affect the worker’s behavior. 
  • The work environment– this is the environment of the work of a worker or an employee; this factor also determines the worker’s behavior. The company culture is involved in this variable. 
  • The behavior relates to how the workers interact with their fellow workers and how they act when doing their duties. Ignoring any of these three variables can result in accidents. 

Behavior-based safety is everyone’s affair.

The knowledge of behavior-based safety explains that it is the responsibility of everyone in an organization to focus on safe behaviors and not just on one person alone. When employees and employers work together to create a safe workplace in collaboration and consultation, employees are more likely to follow every safety program in place. And no one will be reminded of what to do since everyone is aware and is involved in all safety programs happening in the workplace. 

How do you implement a successful behavior-based safety program?

To implement a successful behavior-best safety program, you have to look at these four elements. Implementing these four elements will make the BBS program a success. The four major components are

1. Observation.

This entails observing how employees do their duties at work. Other employees have to be engaged to collect site safety reviews at intervals. There Should be an observation. And information should be passed on to all workers so they know about the program. The observers should be trained on what they’re doing before they will be engaged in such a task at the workplace.

2. Checklist.

Create a checklist for conducting the observation. For example, a simple activity, such as a painting activity, can be monitored with a checklist. The workers involved in the painting will be observed when doing the work and checked on how they carry the job safely. 

3. Feedback.

The observers should be open to feedback from the workers during the observation and while the observers are observing the job. They should also be available to check every unsafe behavior from the side of the workers and see how they can help to correct such behaviors at work. 

4. Goals.

The goal of every BBS program is to correct unsafe behavior. And that focus should remain that way. Any attention given to punishing unsafe behavior will jeopardize the goal of the BBS program. The observers have to send the observation data to the BBS team after their task. So that everyone will be on the same page. Most times, it’s always good to set a goal on what you want to achieve in the BBS program, such as having 100% PPE compliance for workers by the end of the Quarter. 

Importance of behavior-based safety program.

  • It provides a long-term solution for eliminating risks and hazards in the workplace. 
  • It helps reduce unsafe behaviors and continuously improves safety performance at work.
  • Behavioral Based Safety encourages workers to consider safety as a value and ensure that everyone can ensure the safety of others, too. 
  • It promotes a workplace safety culture, vital for an employee’s success at work. 
  • It helps employees be observant of their work and makes them work safely on their own. 


Behavior-based safety programs can help change unsafe behaviors, but implementation should be the primary focus; any attention given to penalizing unsafe behaviors when conducting the program will jeopardize the program’s success.

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