Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) is one of the most successful innovations in safety in the past 20 years. BBS's own success has been used to justify the exorbitant fees many consulting companies charge and therefore made it unavailable to many who could benefit from implementing it. Today much of the mystery surrounding BBS is gone and the basic process is available to anyone who can read and think. Even for those who can afford to hire consultants, the advantages of a do-it-yourself approach form a compelling argument.
Advantage #1 - Cost savings -Using the average BBS consultant to do turnkey implementations at each site is overly expensive. DIY approaches can be just as effective for a fraction of the costs, especially if you use consultants to help or to train trainers. Doing it yourself doesn't necessarily mean doing it by yourself. Just be sure the consultant you use doesn't have a coin slot and stop working periodically until you make another deposit.
Advantage #2 - Integration - Most consultant-led (non-customized) implementations become "islands" of safety activity isolated from the mainstream of accident prevention activities. Most consultants have fairly inflexible methodologies that must be installed as independent units. By doing BBS yourself, you can integrate your behavioral approach into your other safety efforts and into your organizational structure. If using a consultant, make sure that the process is adequately customized to match your site.
Advantage #3 - Sustainability - When you hire an outside expert, the expertise tends to remain outside your organization. If you have problems, you call the expert to come help again. Doing the process yourself compels organizations to internalize the expertise which gives them the power to constantly improve and evolve their processes to meet the changing needs of their business.
Advantage #4 - Consistency - Many companies have used different consultants at different sites. The methodologies and terminology are different and inflexible. The sites cannot communicate or synergize effectively. The DIY approach allows for norming the sites to the new company-owned standard without violating copyrights and trade secrets.
Advantage #5 - Ownership - It is difficult to build true buy-in and participation in a process you simply rent from a consulting company. By doing BBS yourself, you can empower your employees to customize and make the process company and site specific and build true ownership. People support what they help create. No one washes a rented car.
Advantage #6 - Lean BBS - Traditional BBS is not only expensive to implement at small sites, it is personnel-intensive to run. DIY BBS allows you to make the process more lean and practical at smaller business units. You can take advantage of the lean approach and substantially reduce the amount of manpower needed to start and operate the process.