Abstract

Behavioral-based Safety is a well-established method for changing workers behavior and incident rates. However, a variety of approaches exist, some of which are more effective than others. To determine the most effective design of a behavioral safety process, a review of Behavioral-based Safety field studies was conducted from a safety practitioner's viewpoint. Covering a wide range of settings, including construction and Oil & Gas, the review focused entirely on the degree of behavioral change and incident reduction resulting from different types of implementation.

To facilitate the analyses, common Behavioral-based Safety program design characteristics were identified and coded. These included (i) Observation focus (individuals, workgroups or outcomes); (ii) Observation contact rate; (iii) the feedback mechanisms used (i.e. posted, verbal & written feedback and monthly briefings); (iv) Goal-setting; and (v) Incentives or competition. The impact of each of these characteristics exerted on behavioral change was calculated.

The results clearly demonstrated that type of setting, the focus of observations, the frequency of observation, the number and types of feedback mechanisms used, in addition to process design considerations influence the effectiveness of behavioral safety programs.

The above study and implementation process was able to generate employees' acceptance and participation. Number of observation executed in the field increased from 400 to 1500 observations per month within one year of implementation. The overall behavioral safety improved from 84% safe to 95% in the same period. The major improvement was in the Personal Protective Equipment use, especially eye protection category. The safety spectacles use improved from 40% to 75% safe.

Introduction

Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) had two fatal incidents in year 2000. As a result, KNPC developed and inaugurated a new Safety, Health and Environment Management System (SHEMS) in year 2003. Behavioral Safety was one of the main items in this management system but did not take off until year 2006. Behavior related accidents decreased after implementing the Management System but never reached zero. In year 2007, Behavior-based safety process started in Mina Abdullah Refinery (owned and operated by KNPC) to overcome the behavior based incidents.

Behavior-based Safety (BBS) is found on site interaction between a trained observer and the worker. The observer would admire the safe behaviors the worker is performing; then highlight the at-risk behavior the same worker is making. The observer would suggest safe behaviors for the worker to use. This site observation is recorded in a check list, without registering the workers name. The check list is entered in a database for further analysis and recommendations.

The objective of this paper is to demonstrate how the observer's individual feedback to the worker could make the worker change his at-risk behavior to safe behavior. Investigation is set out to find if management communications and group feedback could encourage observers to increase their contribution to the behavior-based safety process. The research will find out if supplying better quality of personal protective equipment would encourage the worker to use them and hence reduce at-risk behavior. The final objective for this paper is to gauge safety training effect on changing workers at-risk behavior.

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