Behavioral Incident Investigation (BII) is a powerful tool used to arrive at the reasons people take unsafe actions. It is used as an adjunct to existing investigation methodologies to explore more fully the relationship between the work/management system and the behavior of personnel involved in incidents.

In the BII process, every undesired behavior, whether by operational personnel, supervision, or contractors, etc., is identified. Each unsafe behavior is then analyzed using the ABC model of human behavior (Antecedents/Behavior/Consequences) to determine what were the antecedents, or triggers, in place that suggested the unsafe behavior, and what were the consequences experienced by the person on previous occasions that might have caused them to repeat the unsafe behavior. These results are fed into whatever root cause investigation tool is being used to assist with determining immediate and root causes and appropriately categorizing the results.

Once the root causes are determined, the original behaviors inserted into the ABC model are reversed, and the desired behaviors are inserted into the analysis. The investigator then attempts to determine what antecedents/triggers can be put into place and the consequences that can be implemented that will suggest/trigger and/or encourage/reinforce the corresponding safe behavior. The result is an action plan that not only addresses ways to prevent unsafe behavior, but ways to encourage safe behavior.

The process provides a link to human behavior that is currently left unexplored or underutilized in most investigation methodologies and ensures that action plans to address root causes include behavioral components.

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