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.