Behavior based safety examples

Behavior based safety examples DEFAULT

Behavior based safety observations (BBSO) are an integral part of behavior based safety programs, which aim to reduce the number of incidents by recognizing safe behavior, and eliminating the need for unsafe behavior. The general idea is that by creating safe work habits through observations, the number of incidents will decrease among workers.

The Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) defines Behavior Based Safety (BBS) as "a process through which work groups can identify, measure and change their behaviors."

Human behavior is heavily influenced by what happens around us. By nature, people do what they see. However, it also means that it can be identified and measured by others, and changed according to different external influences.

Performing Behavior Based Safety Observations

BBSOs should be performed on a regular basis between workers. Workers must be selected and trained to act as observers, however, anyone can be observed.

In order to properly perform a BBSO, the observer must inform the observee that they are being watched. While it is common to assume that observation means that a worker will perform the task perfectly (which would be a good thing), habits and complacency can affect the outcome of the observation.

By acknowledging safe work behaviors in a positive way, workers are encouraged to repeat the behavior, and others are more likely to follow suit.

While BBSOs are performed among peers, it is important that the right people are selected to carry out the observations. When selecting observers within your company, ensure that candidates:

  • Have experience with the task
  • Be respected by their colleagues
  • Believe in the BBS program
  • Be able to provide positive feedback for safe behaviors
  • Be able to provide coaching and discuss unsafe behavior

BBOs are intended to determine if workers are able to perform tasks safely and identify any hazards that could potentially cause harm. When performing observations, the observer will fill out a form or checklist that breaks the task down into smaller elements.

Once the observation has been completed, the observer will provide the worker with feedback and either positive reinforcement for safe behavior, or coaching and guidance regarding unsafe behavior. Any behaviors that present an immediate danger to the life and health of the worker, or to the environment, must be stopped immediately and a discussion between the observer and the worker regarding the matter should take place.

Keep in mind that the conversation should focus on why the behavior occurred and how it could be better executed, but should not be used as an opportunity to punish or chastise the worker. Encourage observers to record the reasons that the worker gives as to why they displayed unsafe behavior. It could stem from a lack of resources that has yet to be addressed (e.g. offering a wider selection of glove sizes if a worker complains of gloves being difficult to work with).

Creating an effective Behavior Based Safety program

The most difficult part of implementing a BBS program is to change everyone's way of thinking, from upper management to front line workers. It is human nature to look for flaws or negativity, however, the objective of BBS is to look for and praise positive behaviors.

In an article titled The Contributing Factors of Behavior Based Safety Failures, EHS identifies the most common reasons why BBS programs fail or are ineffective.

  • Forced effort or involvement: If workers aren't passionate about the process, they will not be effective in executing it. It is important to motivate and make them believe in the process as opposed to ramming it down their throats.
  • A "Gotcha" approach: Do not create an environment that suggests "us vs them" by spying on workers to "catch them in the act". Properly announcing the observation and praising good work will yield better results.
  • Information used for discipline: The objective of BBS is to look for and praise positive behaviors. Instead of reprimanding workers for unsafe behavior, use unsafe observations as teaching moments, as well as an opportunity to look for issues within the task itself.
  • Lack of action plans or visible success: Ensure that the safety team shares the data from the BBSOs and uses it to motivate the rest of the company. Employees can't be excited about a program if they don't see any results or changes being applied to their processes.
  • Unfocused or misfocused efforts: Don't lose sight of the big picture. While you want to conduct regular BBSOs, you also want to conduct effective BBSOs. If your observers are more focused on meeting their quotas than creating a safer workplace, you won't get the results you are striving for.
  • Retention and Internalization is an afterthought: If the entirety of your safety program depends solely on an external party, how will you retain it in times of hardship? Ensure that there are ways that you can retain and sustain your safety program if ever you can't afford your safety consultant or software.
  • Expecting miracles: Humans are a product of their environment and experiences, and these shape every aspect of our lives. Changing mindsets and the frameworks people are used to will not happen overnight, so give your workers and BBS program time and room to grow before seeing a change.
  • Stopping at behavior: Even though the goal of a BBS program is to stop unsafe behavior, it is important to acknowledge that these behaviors occurred for a reason. Engage workers in a conversation regarding their behavior and try to determine how you can best tackle the reasons why it happened in the first place.

No one plans on getting injured on the job and creating a positive safety culture for your workers can help drastically reduce the chances of anyone getting hurt. If your company is interested in following a Behavior Based Safety program, keep one thing in mind: BBS isn't "us vs them". BBS means everyone working together to keep each other safe. 

Collecting Data

After implementing BBSOs for a while, you're going to find yourself with an abundance of rich and useful data! You can use this data in several ways to continue to perfect your safety program.

You may find that you'll gain insights into the reality of the safety at your organization. For example, if several workers are performing the exact same unsafe behavior, you've just put your finger on a gap in your safety program. The data can also assist you when reporting accidents, updating employee training, and other safety initiatives.

Behavior Observations Tool by Workhub

You may be asking yourself, where do I record these observations? How can I track progress effectively?

It may be a good idea to implement a safety management software that will provide you with a platform to record observations into and make tracking and analyzing data easier. Workhub’s Behavior Observations tool makes implementing BBSOs into your safety program extremely simple. The tool allows you to create and assign observations unique to your workplace for each of your workers and track both safe and unsafe behaviors. By centralizing your BBSO documents, it allows for seamless progress tracking of each worker and ensures consistent compliance in your workplace.

Screen views of Behavior Based Safety Component on a mobile tablet and laptop

Watch our webinar on Behavior Based Safety Observations here for more info!

Workhubprovides a complete health and safety compliance software that allows easy management of training, procedures, policies, inspections, and more, centralized in one easy-to-use hub.



Environment, health, and safety (EHS) managers are always looking for ways that they can mitigate risk, take preventive action against potential hazards and incidents, and improve their company’s overall safety culture. Behavior-based safety (BBS) is an effective tool that can be put to use in achieving all of these goals.

Safety Manager

Nopphon_1987 /

Basically, BBS is a method of avoiding human error and improving workplace safety by observing and analyzing employees’ behavior while they work. Let’s take a look at some of the key concepts of BBS, along with actions EHS managers and professionals can take to put the concepts to beneficial use at their organizations.

Before we get started, however, we must first emphasize one thing in order to dispel a common misconception about BBS: Behavior-based safety is NOT about blaming the employee for safety mishaps. It is about positively reinforcing safe behaviors while providing corrective feedback when risky behaviors are observed.

The Basics of BBS

The guiding principle of behavioral safety is helping employees perform a job safely as the product of a series of safe behaviors. “Behavior” is defined as any action you can see someone doing, and it includes visible actions only (i.e., it does not refer to things you cannot see, such as an employee’s attitudes or thoughts). BBS helps determine why at-risk behavior occurs on the job and the steps necessary to change at-risk behavior into safe behavior.

The BBS method uses materials and activities to encourage safe behavior. For example, safety signs, training, safety rules and policies, and safety meetings are all tools that can be put to good use in a behavioral safety framework. It also uses observation of behaviors to determine whether behaviors are safe or unsafe, and it uses positive or corrective feedback on performance to reinforce safe behavior and change unsafe behavior.

BBS Starts with Selecting and Observing Desired Safe Behaviors

When putting BBS into action within the workplace, it’s important that EHS managers properly select and observe employee behavior. Behaviors selected for observation must be:

  • Observable (i.e., can be seen or heard),
  • Reliable (i.e., seen the same way by two or more people),
  • Something over which an employee has control, and
  • Described in a positive way (i.e., what should be done, not what shouldn’t be done).

Keep in mind that behavior-based safety observations must be objective—that is, based on what you actually see a person doing, not on opinions or interpretations about an employee’s performance.

To put observations into action, consider this activity. Select several safe behaviors (usually no more than five at one time) and compile them into a checklist that employees carry with them during the workday and use to spot-check for the different selected safe behaviors. If an employee observes a coworker performing a behavior on the checklist safely, a check is placed in the “safe” column. If a coworker is observed performing a behavior unsafely, a check goes in the “unsafe” column. This can take the pulse of the prevalence of safe vs. unsafe behavior on the job and help EHS professionals then provide positive feedback for safe behaviors or take corrective and preventive action for riskier behavior.

Positive Feedback Is Essential to BBS

Positive verbal feedback is a powerful way to reinforce safe behavior and a cornerstone of effective BBS. When you give employees feedback about safe behavior, be specific about what you observed.

For example, to a forklift operator you might say, “Thank you for driving slowly around that corner and using your horn to warn others.” Avoid generalizations such as, “Thanks for driving the forklift carefully.” Deliver feedback on performance immediately after the behavior or as soon after the behavior as possible.

Also, be sure to identify the person or group to whom you’re giving the feedback by name. For example, “John, thanks for mopping up that spilled water. You just prevented someone from slipping and falling and getting injured.” Avoid saying things like, “Thanks, everyone, for keeping the floor clean.”

One thing to avoid in your communication: Don’t use the word “but” or “however” when giving positive feedback, since these qualifiers diminish the effect of the positive message. For example, if you say, “Good to see you wearing safety glasses, Sally, but…” Sally may only hear the part after the “but”—not the positive reinforcement that preceded it.

Use Corrective Feedback for Risky Observed Behaviors

While we stress once more that BBS is emphatically not about blaming employees, you also must never ignore unsafe behavior—it could result in an incident, an injury, or worse. When you observe an employee engaging in unsafe behavior, you must give corrective feedback.

Corrective feedback is providing information on what an employee is doing incorrectly and also providing information for improvement. It does not merely scold employees (which could result in reactance against your efforts on their part), but instead calls attention to a specific behavior and helps increase the chances of safer behaviors in the future.

When giving corrective feedback, remember:

  • Be specific and focus on the correct behavior only—don’t discuss other behaviors.
  • Be objective and talk about the behavior, not the person.
  • Describe the safe behavior, and make sure employees understand why this behavior is important to their safety.

Positive Behaviors, Positive Culture

While BBS can help EHS managers pinpoint both safe and unsafe behaviors in order to prevent incidents, it also has the added benefit of improving a company’s overall safety culture. Frequent, consistent, and clear communication on safety issues such as behavior allows organizations to make safety a core part of their company values and an integral part of their overall culture.

With a more mindful approach to behavior, EHS managers, along with employees and upper management, can create an atmosphere where safety is top of mind every single day. When paired with proper tracking and analytical tools, behavior-based safety can help you ensure that employees are not only getting the job done, but doing so in a way that actively promotes health and safety.

  1. Mollymauk coat sewing pattern
  2. History maker homes celina
  3. Home depot drain assembly

Behavior Based Safety Observations-ERA_EnvironmentalBehavior Based Safety Observations (BBSOs) are recorded observations to improve worker safety and reduce risk. BBSOs typically involve managers and other appointed observers watching tasks and operations while making notes and suggestions to improve safety. Additionally, workers can also submit BBSOs based on risks they see while performing their work. Conducting BBSOs is a great way to learn how your workers are operating on the floor and the potential hazards that exist on-site. Beyond taking a comprehensive look at worker safety, BBSOs examine the work habits, environment, and efficacy of training processes.

Why is Behavior Based Safety Important?

Very seldom do employees work in an unsafe method on purpose. Generally speaking, accidents and mistakes are the result of unsafe work habits – those unconscious errors and shortcuts all humans fall into over time. A worker will usually act “on their best behavior” and perform to the best of their trained ability during a formal audit, making it tough for safety managers to locate and pre-empt causes of safety issues. This is where Behavior-Based Safety management principles play a key role in identifying unsafe habits – doing a BBSO for a process or task is less formal than a full safety audit and is more likely to reveal bad habits in the workforce.

Habits are a powerful force in the workplace and can be a subconscious driver of either productivity or an unsafe environment. If left unchecked, bad habits can spread like wildfire from one worker to another. Fortunately, frequent observations curb unsafe habits from becoming too widespread. BBSO programs are meant to make safe behavior habitual throughout the facility, operating under the guiding principle that the safest procedures must be the only procedures in practice to reduce the occurrence of incidents on-site.

Initiating a discussion among workers about best work practices and improving work habits can contribute to a stronger safety culture and help make them aware of their own unsafe habits. Feedback from workers after observations are conducted help managers have a clearer picture of challenges and other factors to consider in an effort to make safe behavior easier.

  • Behavior based safety addresses the subconscious, harder to stifle root causes of incidents.
  • Behavior based safety programs can feel less formal and therefore can get employee buy-in more easily than a strict auditing schedule which can feel like you're looking for ways to punish mistakes.
  • By observing and correcting habits, you're focusing on preventing incidents, not just responding to them. 
  • Making employees aware of habits helps them with self-improvement rather than having changes forced down from management. 

What is a Behavior Based Safety Program?

A behavior based safety program is essentially about having a formal system in place to track, measure, and respond to safety observations made within your organization. 

When an observation is made, it should be captured in a standardized manner and stored somewhere safety managers can read and assess it. For example, say an employee notices an unsafe behavior from a peer - if you have a BBSO program in place, that employee should have access to some type of form they can quickly fill out while the data is fresh and a method of getting that form in front of someone with the ability to follow up.

While this can be as simple as a paper checklist and anonymous drop-off box, you'll get better employee engagement and better quality data if you use a more sophisticated approach. For example, if you provide employees with a simple mobile app or electronic form they can access during a break you'll capture data more efficiently and employees will be more likely to participate. 

The second part of a Behavior Based Safety Program is that you need a method of analyzing and acting on data generated in your BBSO submissions. In some cases this can mean KPIs and charts detailing common factors in reports (like common incorrect behaviors around a particular process which can indicate retraining is needed). 

Watch the short video below for a summary on the key elements of a BBSO safety management program:

BBSO Software

BBSOs Help Improve the Work Environment

Poor working conditions can occasionally be overlooked by workers and managers. Workers may be too busy or simply forget to notify managers about the specifics of the unsafe working conditions. Behavior-Based safety is also about taking time to check your blind spots. For example, a BBSO-appointed observer may observe that worker safety can be improved with a few adjustments—like improved lighting or a safety ladder. While an observer is watching workers work, he or she might notice the potential danger of a tool or screw falling below through floor grating and hitting a passerby on the head. From that observation, safety tape that sections off an area prone to falling screws or tools is an example of how BBSOs can create new safety measures.

Workplace safety requires a safe environment that supports proper workplace behavior. Adding additional safety equipment like barricades to section off hazards, safety mirrors for a clear view of blind areas, and steel bollards to protect doorways, corners, and industrial equipment and are simple improvements that can be made to the work environment after an observation. BBSOs examine worker behavior and work conditions—ensuring that workers are less incident prone by removing obstacles that impede safety and adding equipment to support safety measures.

How Behavior Based Safety Can Improve Training Management

Recorded BBSO findings gauge the overall success of training by measuring the amount of training practices and techniques used on the job. If your training stuck with your team, you should see a decrease in the number of BBSOs logged regarding that particular training topic. This is a helpful way of measuring if your training had an impact.

But perhaps more importantly, a safety observation can also be used in the moment as a learning and re-training experience. Say for example you observe a team member not wearing a piece of PPE properly (or at all).  In the event of unsafe behavior taking place, the observer should stop the worker and inform them of the proper safety behavior. Workers can easily forget to wear safety gloves or safety goggles, but workers must be reminded that correct safety procedures must be followed. But treat this like a learning opportunity rather than an admonishment: try asking questions to prompt them to recall training such as “Why aren’t you wearing your safety gloves?”. This simple observation technique can provide observers with valuable feedback to determine if the safety program has a gap in practice or training. A situation where workers are knowingly avoiding safety measures is different than workers not being properly trained and informed.

Companies are required by OSHA to provide workers with:

3 Golden Rules of OSHA-1

  • A safety program including work rules, training, and equipment designed to prevent the violation.
  • Adequate communication of these rules to employees.
  • Enforcement in official safety procedure for safety programs.

Trainings are the heart of workplace safety, and BBSOs represent the careful monitoring of worker behavior to monitor the efficacy of trainings. The findings of observations help Health and Safety managers improve the current safety plan to develop a comprehensive plan for the continual improvement of safety trainings.

Why Do Behavior Based Safety Programs Fail?

It is important to emphasize that BBSOs are only meant to help workers and are not punitive measures. Your goal is to break unsafe habits by raising awareness of them, not punish employees for having picked up those bad habits. As a company, safety observations demonstrate dedication to compliance and devotion to the safety of all workers.

The reason that behavior based safety programs fail, even if you're doing Behavior-based safety observations religiously and correctly is because of your safety culture. A BBSO system can very easily be interpreted as a way to tattle on coworkers or to snoop on employees - for this reason upper management must make it very clear that implementing a BBSO program is about working together to improve safety with an emphasis on prevention.

  • People at all levels of your organization should participate in the BBSO program to help develop a safety culture that includes everyone.
  • Find a balance between transparency and privacy - the actions and findings of BBSOs are only valuable when shared and acted upon, but no one should feel personally targeted. ERA recommends using graphical reports to communicate the essence of BBSOs (like which facilities or teams have more incident near misses) without having to disclose specific/personal information. 
  • Act on Behavior Based Safety Observations - if you just collect data and never make improvements that your team can notice and appreciate, you'll lose engagement in the entire system. Your employees are putting trust in you to protect their safety using their buy-in, so don't take that for granted. 

Summary: Why BBSOs are Effective

BBSOs analyze workplace habits, examine the workplace environment, and determine strategies and practical solutions to improve safety through training. We suggest Health and Safety leaders measure the success of their current safety program and make necessary procedural changes from observation findings. Behavior-based safety is also built on feedback from workers and managers. These exchanges show managers the real-world application of training procedures and areas needing improvement. With the help of a safety plan that is flexible and adaptive to adjust to the many hazards that are in the field, BBSOs are an effective tool for workplace safety. They ensure that workers return home 100% safe and injury-free.


8 Steps to Building a Successful Behavior Based Safety Program

Step 5: Conduct Behavioral Observations


Decide which members of your behavioral based safety team will be conducting the observations and decide how often they are to be completed. Depending on your organization’s environment and the risk severity of the job, observations should be conducted on a monthly, weekly or daily basis. During a behavioral observation, the observer will record positive behaviors, risky behaviors and make note of areas for improvement.

Step 6: Give Feedback


After a completed observation, the supervisor should immediately give feedback to employees and review their behavior in detail. Feedback should cover positive and at-risk behaviors, as well as discuss the potential impact of risky behavior.

Step 7: Leverage Your Data


Use your findings to your advantage to create adata-driven safety strategyto mitigate future risk. This should include addressing and eliminating at-risk behaviors by promoting new, safe behaviors. Your data should also help inform your program’s continuous improvement goals.

Step 8: Measure Success and Continuously Improve


Working towards continuous improvement means regularly evaluating and reflecting on the effectiveness of your behavior based safety program to keep making positive progress. After reviewing results on a monthly and quarterly basis, consider making program tweaks and process adjustments as needed.

An earlier version of this article originally appeared on 


Safety examples based behavior

Safety in the workplace is always important. A safe place of work is one that doesn’t have to worry about having its employees sidelined from the types of injuries that keep them off work for weeks or even months, which creates problems for both the worker and the company itself. This means establishing a solid workplace safety model is crucial for the success of any company.

There are many workplace safety models out there. One popular one is known as behavior-based safety (BBS). The BBS model makes use of safety observations, which have been shown to be effective in fostering safer work environments. Here’s some information about these techniques as well as safety observations examples to more thoroughly understand a BBS workplace model.

A Quick Definition of Behavior-Based Safety Observations

In the context of a behavior-based workplace safety model, safety observations are counts of how many safe and unsafe conditions or actions are identified in a specific work area for a set period of time.

Depending on your place of work’s specific workplace safety policies, safety observations can be tallied daily, weekly, or any other interval desired, and are usually recorded via checklists by safety managers. These checklists often have different sections for specific safety topics.

Safety Observation Examples

Safety observations examples are relatively what you would expect from a checklist of workplace safety goals. One example would be under the personal protective equipment (PPE) section of a checklist, which would record whether workers have proper PPE according to the job they’re conducting, whether they’re wearing that PPE correctly, and whether the PPE they do have are in good enough condition.

As a further example, safety observations also typically include a housekeeping section in order to ensure that work areas are being used for their proper purpose, are clear of any obstructions, have any work materials stored in a safe manner, and if proper disposal procedures are being followed. Other sections, such as those for specific procedures, personnel, and tools and equipment are also common.

The Key to Successful Safety Observations

It’s important to remember that, as a manager, safety observations can act as a powerful tool to identify areas of a worksite that need to be strengthened. However, it’s also important to remember that safety observations should be geared towards recording positive workplace safety aspects as well as negative ones. Doing so prevents safety observations from becoming just a list of what’s wrong (or who’s doing things wrong) while at work.

Calling out good safety behavior on the part of workers who consistently do the right thing strengthens workplace safety culture and morale and increases the likelihood that safe workplace behavior will continue.

This is, of course, the goal of a behavior-based workplace safety model – to make the workplace as injury-free as possible by reinforcing safe behaviors and discouraging unsafe ones, all while keeping workers engaged in the process.

Behavior-Based Safety Training

Teach a couple of spells. This is what. "Candle" and "blanket". "Candle" is understandable, but "blanket".

Now discussing:

Mom answered laughing, turning the faucet. By the way Serezha jerked without question, it became clear that the enema had gone. Well, now Im taking this matter into my own hands, said my mother, winking at her daughter, taking hold of the tip sticking out of the priests, and you. Provide a good pressure so that our clamper is properly washed. Katya raised the mug over her head, and my mother slightly pushed the tip, and Seryozha felt the strong pressure of the jet.

1547 1548 1549 1550 1551