Behavior based safety (BBS) programs are used in the workplace to encourage employees to practice safe behaviors and correct unsafe ones. These programs can help with improving a workplace's safety culture and are a key part of what EHS managers do for their organizations.
This article will go over how modern technology can offer improvements to a behavior based safety program and the data collection process.
Automate & encourage safety observations
The success of implementing a behavior based safety program beings with its execution. You want to ensure your employees are regularly conducting safety observations so that you're notified of unsafe behavior or conditions.
Unfortunately, it’s easy for employees to place safety observations at the bottom of their to-do lists. Without frequent reminders, these tasks can fall by the way side.
Technology offers ways to resolve this issue. With the right tools, you can avoid manually sending reminders and follow-ups. Safety observation software has the ability to schedule recurring observations and send out email alerts when they are past due.
Such software could also make the observation process easier on employees by using digital checklists. With just a few presses of a button, observers can record their findings. Digital checklists take less time to complete than paper and pen.
The less time it takes to record an observation, the easier it will be to encourage employees to regularly conduct them. Then it won’t be long until you have more observation data then you know what to do with!
Easily trend on safe and unsafe behaviors
One of the unfortunate cons of behavior based safety programs is that they tend to generate large floods of data.
For example, observing 25 employees, once a week, for five behaviors results in 500 records in just one month! In addition to these records, observers may also have included corrective actions for any unsafe behaviors.
Data of this range and depth can be too complex to analyze effectively without the assistance of technology. Luckily, safety management systems are able to organize these large amounts of data in an easy to read format.
The best management systems will simplify the process to create detailed reports on the data collected. Such reports should provide details on key safety metrics that will summarize the performance of your BBS program.
The easier it is to analyze behavior data, the sooner you’ll see where changes need to be made. You’ll also see whether or not your BBS program is collecting the data you need.
Refine safety observation checklists
Improving your safety program can only be done by collecting the necessary behavioral safety data. "Dirty" data that is broadly defined or appears to have missing parts are signals to re-evaluate your observation checklists.
Furthermore, the format of your observation checklist might be leaving too much room for mistakes and inconsistencies. Paper and pen checklists are subject to sloppy edits, inconsistencies, and can be hard to store and organize.
Technology can quickly alleviate these concerns. Digital checklists will record a history of who was conducting the observation. This will make it easy to track down who is responsible for mistakes or incomplete checklists. Digital forms are also stored in a single database, making it easy for you to find what you need.
If changes need to be made to the structure of your checklists, technology allows you to make broad edits. Plus, a digital database of safety observation checklists ensures the same versions of checklists are used across all locations.
Next Steps to Improving BBS
Once you've used technology to improve your behavior based safety program, you'll start to see areas to improve your safety program as a whole.
Analyzing observations will likely result in the need for corrective actions to resolve unsafe conditions or behaviors. If trends show similar unsafe behaviors for the same employees, you might even need to provide additional training.
It's important to know that technology can assist in managing these areas of your safety program. There are entire safety management software systems that assist in seeing how your findings impact other safety processes.
IndustrySafe is one such system, offering ways to streamline and improve OSHA recordkeeping, EHS inspections, as well as behavior based safety. Sign up for a free demo of IndustrySafe to learn more about how you can improve your safety program.