When it comes to workplace safety strategies, BBS stands for Behavior-Based Safety. It is a system that looks at the science of behavior in order to make improvements on real world safety concerns. Rather than focusing specifically on what looks like it will work on paper for safety improvement, BBS looks at what real people are doing, and then finds ways to adjust behavior in order to get the desired results. The BBS system is based on scientific studies that are used in organizational behavior management, which is a growing field in management strategy.
How Does BBS Work?
Behavior based safety works by reinforcing positive changes to encourage employees and others to act in a safe way. It can also be used to punish poor behavior to help discourage the traits that can lead to safety problems within the workplace. By identifying specific behaviors that take place and responding to them, the safety manager can help to guide people to make the best possible decisions more naturally than other strategies may work.
Rather than simply coming out with a new policy that was written up to help eliminate a safety problem, BBS may reward teams that exhibit the desired actions. These rewards can be just about anything including extra pay, time off, recognition, and much more. As long as the employees will find it motivating, it can be very effective.
Based on Behavioral Science
The important thing to keep in mind when implementing any type of behavior-based safety strategy is that it must be based on proven science. There have been many studies on this area, and many books written about it. Taking the time to learn exactly what will be most effective in a given situation will help to ensure the BBS efforts will produce the desired results. Simply putting up rewards for actions will typically not be enough as those can be manipulated or taken advantage of. Real BBS is more complex, and more effective, than a simple rewards system.
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