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Optimize Your Behavior-Based Safety Program

Behavior, Safety

Nearly all company leaders have their own behavior-based observation (BBO) programs as part of their safety management systems. But it’s what they do with this information that matters.

If your employees are filling out their cards and management is doing nothing about it, then nothing’s being accomplished. Employees receive no feedback, which makes your BBO program go very stale very quickly.

First, you need to train your employees on how to use the cards and let them know why you’re using them. The main reason most employees think you have these programs is so they can tattle on their co-workers, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Most programs don’t even require employees to put their names on the cards.

Make them understand the focus is on their safety. Workers tend to feel like an accident won’t happen to them. That they are an exception.

But it only needs to happen once. The damage caused by one misstep is often not fully recoverable.

The Results Of Engaged Employees

Employees submit their cards. They identify any potential safety risks. And depending on the severity of the risk, supervisors can deal with their concerns in a timely matter and report back to the person that submitted the card.

This data can be entered into your tracking system. Then charts and graphs can be developed out of this information to be shared with employees.

Develop your focus audits to reflect lagging indicators from the week before. You can also discuss such topics in your toolbox talks or safety meetings.

For Information Purposes Only.

It could take you a while to get this program into gear. You need to earn employee participation first and then review and respond to card quality. Have them understand the whole point is to develop information for their safety.

Card quality is much more important than quantity, and feedback is a very important part of this safety program element. As employees take time to write cards, supervisors must take time to read and act on information on the cards. If they don’t make this happen, you’ll soon receive no cards — or employees won’t include tangible information.

This program is very reliant on your supervisors and employees bringing communication full circle. Encourage them to provide information to one another. Be proactive and the program will achieve results.

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