Behavior Based Safety (BBS) in practice

Arnhem, Netherlands – On March 29-30, 2017, the bi-annual NVVK Safety Congress was organized in Arnhem. This year’s emphasis was on the key to success in occupational safety.

Roel Huijbers, environment, health and safety (EHS) Consultant of Environment, Health & Safety, one of the key areas of expertise of Philips Engineering Solutions, contributed to the congress by giving a (well visited) presentation on the added value of Behavior Based Safety (BBS) and explained our approach towards embedding behavioral aspects of safety in organizations. In this article, we provide a first glimpse of the approach it takes in developing a BBS program.

Behavior Based Safety is about creating safety awareness

The goal of the BBS program is to increase safety awareness throughout an entire organization. We believe that a strong BBS program should allow every individual employee to make the right decisions and take initiatives that lead to a safer work environment. This forms the basis of our programs.

One of the key strengths of our Behavior Based Safety approach is that it’s easy to implement for every employee. At the same time, the BBS program gives strong management visibility on workplace behavior.

The BBS program of Environment, Health & Safety incorporates all factors that influence behavior, and subsequently safety behavior. Before training employees and management on these aspects, we evaluate the company’s baseline and maturity level. A couple of these factors, that also form prerequisites for starting a BBS program, are strong employee engagement, a satisfactory level of safety amongst employees, and a committed management team.

The BBS program improves behavioral observations and self-reliance

Before starting the actual BBS program, we tackle any concerns and address any flaws and weaknesses in current occupational health and safety approaches. Subsequently, we start training employees and management to enable them to execute behavioral observations and create self-reliance.

Behavioral observation skills and self-reliance are trained by observing behavior in couples, consisting of a manager and employee. Together, they observe other employees and establish positive dialogues to motivate employees to take the right behavioral decisions. By stimulating such self-reliance amongst the workforce, this program enables positive results on quality and process improvements as well.