THE RELEVANCE OF BEHAVIOUR-BASED SAFETY.
Hello there, this is Goke Akingbade (your Safety Guide) bringing you another interesting topic for you to ponder over. We will be discussing about Behaviour-Based Safety.
Behaviour is what a person does or says. What causes an individual to behave in a certain way is influenced by other factors. In other words, a persons behaviour is shaped by attitudes and situations. Behaviour-Based Safety (BBS) is a Safety Management System that species precisely what behaviours are intended to develop and maintain a safe workplace and are known as safe behaviours. It is about identifying management policies and practices that affect human behaviour in the work environment. For an organization to maintain a safe workplace, an effective BBS program must be in place.
A good BBS program will assist organizations to: (1) Reduce near misses, accidents and property damage. (2) Reduce injury and illness rates in the workplace. (3) Maintain a healthier workforce. (4) Reduce workers compensation costs. (5) Reduce workers absenteeism. (6) Improve workers feelings about their work. (7) Elevate safety to a higher level of awareness.
Most injuries and illnesses in the workplace can be prevented. When a company has a safety culture , encouraging a proactive and positive attitude to safety, the number of injuries and illnesses declines. On the other hand, those with poor safety habits, regular at-risk behaviours, and negative attitudes towards safety experience higher incident rates.
Incidents can usually be connected to one or more of the following causes : (1) BEHAVIOUR ( for example, improper attitude or actions, lack of knowledge or skills. (2) UNSAFE CONDITIONS which could be environmental. (3) UNSAFE PERSONAL FACTOR.
BEHAVIOUR : examples of these include failure to warn, horseplay, defecting safety devices, operating without authority, working in an unsafe posture, working at an unsafe speed, unsafe loading, placing, mixing, failure of the worker to use PPE.
UNSAFE CONDITIONS : These includes improper PPE, defective equipment, improper ventilation or lighting, and unsafe apparel.
UNSAFE PERSONAL FACTORS : These includes weakness in the muscles, defective eye sight, lack of the needful skills, the use of alcohol or hard drugs, physical or mental impairment.
In identifying the factors that contribute to accidents in the workplace, the following questions must be asked:
Did the worker receive proper safety training?
Did the worker know how to use the equipment?
Are procedures in place to deal with faulty equipment?
Was the worker reminded not to use the faulty equipment?
Why did the supervisor allow the use of such equipment?
Was the job examined by the supervisor first of all?
Why was the fault or defect in the equipment not detected?
It is thus very crucial for organizations to strive to develop a good safety culture.
WHAT IS A SAFETY CULTURE?
It is an attitude, rather than a set of rules or procedures. It is a way of life, a mindset achieved and maintained when it is introduced, encouraged and practised by senior management. A successful safety culture requires: (A) Complete commitment to safety as a lifestyle by senior management.
(B) An expectation, at all levels that safe behaviours ought to be practised both on and off the job.
(C) A comprehensive training program which includes regular refresher training.
(D) Company-wide communication systems for collecting, analysing and exchanging safety related information and incident data.
A safety culture begins with managements commitment to safety, which is clearly seen by everyone at every level.
Interventions should be directed towards the workers behaviour before incidents occur. The types of interventions will vary depending on the root causes of the behaviour. Effective intervention involves mutual respect and trust. If you are supervisor, make sure that you : (1) Get Involved. (2) Involve your team. (3) Look for ways to measure safe behaviour. (4) Attend the same training as your team. (5) Be proactive and get involved in safety. (6) Follow-up on the actions you take.
As an organization, it is very crucial that an effective safety culture is imbibed by every member of the organization. This is the essence of a behaviour-based safety program. As long as this incorporated into the operational objectives of the organization, and its performance is constantly monitored, there will be an overall improvement in the safety and health of the workforce.
So till I come your way again, this is Goke Akingbade wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016.