Introduction

How realistically and reliably can the Critical Behavior Lists (or equivalent) of behavior based safety programs be meaningfully constructed and interpreted without an objective basis for risk calculation and evaluation ? Does the descriptor 'at risk' have any useful meaning ? Don't we all know that all behaviors involve some risk ? All behaviors are 'at risk'.

To be confident that employees at all levels need to understand and may possibly want to change their risk taking behaviors at work,

  • we need to be confident that they can understand & evaluate the risks adequately,

  • AND to be confident that they can understand & evaluate the risks adequately,

  • we need to be confident that they can perceive the risks adequately,

  • AND to be confident that they can perceive the risks adequately,

  • we need to be confident that they can assess the risks adequately

  • AND to be confident that they can assess the risk adequately,

  • we need to be confident that they can calculate the risks adequately.

Nearly all behavior-based safety programs don't recognise the need, and don't provide any adequate process, for adherence to all of the logic chain above. Breaking any single link of the chain breaks the logic of the chain itself and continues the frustration of current programs - the on-going confusion and lack of agreement of what is 'at risk'.

This presentation describes how a successful behavior-based program needs to provide all participants with at least one method calculating risk and hence provide an objective basis for understanding, prioritisation and assessment of workplace risks. Currently, the term "at risk" in "at-risk behavior" has no more practical meaning than "unsafe", the old traditional term it replaced. There is still just as much argument, confusion and inconsistency with the term because it has no objective basis and worse no objective criteria for evaluating and agreeing on risk tolerability. Unless all participants are given both a method for calculating risk levels, and a framework of criteria for agreeing on tolerability, then the programs do not advance beyond the perennial confusion and lack of agreement of what is "unsafe". Nothing is being achieved in getting closer to removing the problems associated with the persistent and subjective assumption that we all innately agree on what is "safe" ie we all share the same risk tolerability levels (the myth of 'safety is common sense'). Without a basis for calculating risk levels, current programs lack an objective basis for selecting and prioritising which behaviors are 'at risk'.

This presentation describes a behavior-based program called BbS which has succeeded over the last 12 years by providing these missing links. Its processes will be described in detail and explanations of the importance of integration of risk management philosophies and methods with behavior-based programs will be provided.

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