What Makes an Ineffective Behavior-Based Safety Process

by Terry McSween

A few months ago, I was surprised to hear that Chevron was moving away from behavior-based safety. I found this difficult to understand. With empirical studies supporting behavioral safety, why was the company abandoning this evidence-based practice?

Then I came across an article in the Journal of SH&E Research describing a recent study done within Chevron that reported no significant relationship between the frequency of behavioral observations and safety incident rates (Agraz-Boenek, Groves, & Haight 2007). I thought perhaps this study would shed some light on Chevron’s recent decision.

Behavior-Based Safety Champion at ENMAX: Woody Hamilton

Elwood “Woody” Hamilton works in the electrical utility First Line Response department for ENMAX Power Company in Calgary, Alberta. He is currently serving as chairperson of the VBS Steering Committee for his department for the second time. Woody’s initiative and innovative contributions have been a major factor in the development of a thriving VBSP at ENMAX.

Using Self-Monitoring for Drivers in a Behavior-Based Safety Process

By Don Nielsen, Ph.D.

Safe driving requires a number of simultaneous and often complex behaviors. The trend in accidents and injuries in many countries is increasing. Speeding and distractions are two of the many factors involved in accidents and injury.

Self-monitoring for drivers is an approach to change their behavior by manipulating antecedents, observing and recording target behaviors, and receiving feedback and consequences. There are basic elements to a self-monitoring approach. Drivers must have an understanding of the process and driver representatives need to be involved in the development of the process. Target behaviors are identified and a method for recording behaviors is developed. Once a baseline is established, attainable goals are identified along with behavior change strategies. As the process moves along, data is shared with employees.

Canadian Utility Generates a Safer Workplace with Behavior Based Safety

A large, sophisticated safety department and a strong concern for operational safety at one of Canada’s major utilities were not enough to avert several fatalities or avoid multiple major injuries—one resulting in a double amputation. “They were under serious regulatory pressure to bring their incident rate down, but they had really done everything they could do, except for the behavioral approach,” says Grainne Matthews, Quality Safety Edge (QSE) behavioral safety consultant.

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