Basing Safety Recognition and Celebrations on Data

by Terry McSween

In our last issue I discussed the Steering Committee’s use of data for targeting safety improvements. In this article I would like to continue that theme and discuss another use of data by the Steering Committee – for planning recognition and celebrations. While recognition and celebrations are critical to a robust behavior-based safety (BBS) process, they are often conducted poorly or even ignored.

Observation and Team-Management Processes

Terry E. McSween, Ph.D.

Today’s behavioral safety systems have two distinct elements: a behavioral observation process and a team-based management process. Both of these elements are critical. The observation process is an educational process that encourages employees to work more safely on the job. The team-based management process ensures the maintenance of the observation process and ensures that the process is adaptive to a changing workplace.

Behavior-Based Safety Can Improve Safety Programs

Grainne A. Matthews, Ph.D. and Terry McSween, Ph.D.

Our problem in achieving further improvements in safety stems from our success. Most industries have good safety records as a result of decades of improvements in working conditions, regulations, and practices. Strictly based on chance, the average employee can work their entire life without experiencing a serious injury. This high level of safety creates a sense of complacency among both employees and management. Employees can often shortcut safety procedures and not get hurt. Management can attend to productivity and other issues while paying little attention to employees’ safe work habits. The probability of injury is often too low to maintain compliance with safety procedures, especially those that make the job more uncomfortable or less convenient.

Behavior-Based Safety Champion at Foster Wheeler: Donna Armstrong

Donna Armstrong, Values Based Safety Coordinator, BSMART, Foster Wheeler (Houston)

Donna Armstrong is our Safety Champion at Foster Wheeler in Houston, Texas. Foster Wheeler, an engineering and construction company, began designing their BSMART (Behavioral Safety Management and Recognition Techniques) process in 2006 during a period of rapid expansion for the company. Donna has been invaluable to the company’s challenging implementation process from the start.