BEHAVIOUR BASED SAFETY
The ‘Culture’ of an organization can be defined as ‘the way we do things around here’. Culture is both the first and last line of defense against injury and loss. More specifically, safety culture ensures that employees follow designated processes and systems, and when those processes fail and those systems break (and they always do), a good culture will assert itself to drive the proper response. Here are some important characteristics to note:
- Culture is defined as a shared set of common values, experiences, beliefs, and characteristics.
- Culture is learned by observation, experience, and example, it is not taught.
- Culture is a living entity – it requires investment or it will rot.
- Culture is messy.
- The culture of safety is those values and beliefs that are commonly shared in workplace operations It is heavily influenced by factors outside the workplace.
In the behavior-based approach to continuous safety improvement, many more people take responsibility or safety and 'keep their eye on the ball', every day, every shift. Shop-floor personnel take turns to act so observers within their own workgroup and continually measure safety performance through the use of a checklist which is regularly updated to take into account the changes that might take place in the work environment.
In these ways, the approach stays alive and is not allowed to become stale or jaded. Neither can it be labeled as a 'flavor of the month ‘campaign. To summarize, in the behavioral approach the emphasis is on the encouragement of safe behavior, not the changing of attitudes or the use of discipline