Leveraging behavior science: The key to a superior behavior based safety (BBS) program
Behavioral Science, applied in the context of Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS), utilizes psychological principles to understand and influence human behavior related to safety, health, and environmental protection. Its goal is to develop targeted interventions and policies that promote safer practices, reduce accidents, and enhance overall well-being in workplaces and communities.
Introducing a behavior based safety (BBS) program
Introducing a Behavior Based Safety (BBS) program, when done right, has the power to transform an organization's safety culture. Let's explore the ideal form of a BBS program through a brief quiz:
Which of the following is the ideal form of a BBS program?
- Finding fault with employee actions and making corrections (sometimes punitive actions).
- Using behavior science to eliminate hazards and/or identify risk controls.
- Analyzing observational data and rewarding good behavior through a "token" system. Collecting the number of people completing the observations and throwing out the other recorded data.
The answer is undoubtedly (2). Utilizing behavior science to eliminate hazards and identify risk controls establishes a superior foundation for a world-class BBS program. It empowers organizations to go beyond traditional reactive measures and embrace a proactive approach to safety.
Data collection is an excellent opportunity for a company to utilize its best asset: its PEOPLE. Communicating how the collected observation information will be addressed helps employees understand why their help is essential. One way to accomplish this is by tailoring controls/actions in response to the observed unsafe behaviors. It's crucial to ensure that the observations list is relevant to different areas of the facility where the surveys are conducted. Utilizing a flexible EHS software system can help adjust the behaviors being prompted on a mobile device to the specific department/area of the location they are completing the observation along with saving time by entering real time data directly into the system. Knowing that their input matters increases the likelihood that employees will complete quality, meaningful observations to analyze.
Analyzing collected data for critical insights
The "analyze" step is all about identifying critical at-risk behaviors and generating solutions to mitigate risks. By adopting behavior science principles, organizations gain a deeper understanding of human behavior and its impact on safety. This approach enables them to:
- Identify Trends: Identify frequently occurring and unsafe behaviors by rating them as "% safe" or "% not safe" and graphing the information. Behavior science allows us to comprehend the root causes behind these behaviors, leading to more effective solutions.
- Extract Data Insights: With behavior science insights, organizations can delve deeper into each observation to understand why certain behaviors occur. Utilizing innovative tools like word clouds and staff interviews becomes more impactful, helping to unearth valuable information.
The combination of behavior science and data analysis ensures a comprehensive understanding of safety challenges, setting the stage for evidence-based interventions.
Evaluating progress for continuous improvement
The "evaluate" step is crucial for creating a world-class Behavior Based Safety (BBS) system. Incorporating behavior science principles elevates this step to new heights. By assessing the effectiveness of interventions with behavior-focused metrics, organizations can gauge their impact on overall safety.
Metrics to consider include:
- % of Observation Target: Set goals for observing and providing feedback to employees regularly. Behavior science-driven targets enable organizations to focus on crucial safety-related actions.
% of At-Risk Observations: Measure the average percentage of unsafe observations. Insight on at risk behaviors provides actionable insights into workplace safety performance. By identifying and addressing at-risk behaviors, organizations can make meaningful strides in improving safety, preventing accidents, and cultivating a culture of safety excellence.
- % CAPA Closure: Track the number of corrective and preventive actions generated and closed. Integrating behavior science principles ensures more targeted and impactful actions.
- % Program Participation: Monitor the engagement of trained individuals in performing observations. Behavior science-backed participation strategies foster a safety culture that empowers every member of the organization.
- % Program Awareness: Assess the level of awareness and understanding of the program's focus areas. Behavior science-driven communication strategies strengthen awareness and alignment.
- % Safe Observations: Measure the average percentage of safe observations for targeted behaviors. Behavior science insights enhance the accuracy and relevance of safety observations.
- Observations Performed by Title: Ensuring participation from all levels of the organization becomes more achievable with behavior science-driven strategies.
Additionally, by utilizing behavior science principles, organizations can create leading indicators that showcase the alignment of safety behaviors with program objectives. Read about measuring safety success through leading indicators in this blog.
Elements that need to work together for a successful BBS program
For a successful Behavior Based Safety (BBS) program, the following elements need to work together in unison:
- Leadership Commitment: Leadership involvement, including the CEO, is vital for setting the tone and making safety a top priority throughout the organization.
- Behavior Science Expertise: Incorporating behavior science principles enables a deeper understanding of human behaviors and their impact on safety.
- Data Collection and Analysis: Implementing a robust data collection and analysis system is crucial for identifying critical at-risk behaviors and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions.
- Behavior-Focused Interventions: Developing evidence-based interventions that target at-risk behaviors and eliminate hazards is essential for proactive safety management.
- Continuous Improvement: Embracing a continuous improvement mindset ensures that the BBS program evolves and adapts to changing safety needs.
Elevate your safety culture with behavior science
World-class Behavior Based Safety (BBS) programs leverage behavior science to eliminate hazards and identify control. By combining data analysis with insights into human behavior, organizations can foster a proactive safety culture that prioritizes prevention over reaction. Ideagen EHS's Behavior Based Safety (BBS) solution empowers organizations to swiftly configure programs that mirror their unique culture and meet specific organizational requirements, effectively institutionalizing desired behaviors into ingrained habits.
By harmoniously integrating these elements, organizations can create a world-class BBS program that fosters a proactive safety culture and protects the well-being of every employee.
Discover how our behavior science-driven BBS solutions can help you achieve a superior safety program todayFind out more