In recent years, the concept of behaviour-based safety (BBS) has gained increasing attention in the field of occupational health and safety. However, many organisations have approached it as merely a list of rules to be followed, rather than a process of communication and understanding. The true potential of BBS can only be realized through a focus on dialogue and understanding.
The three main components of BBS are motivation, opportunity, and capability. Without dialogue and understanding, it is impossible to address these components in a meaningful way. Motivation is about the attitudes and beliefs that drive a person’s behaviour. Opportunity refers to the physical and organizational conditions that enable or prevent safe behaviour. Capability refers to the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to perform a task safely.
In order to effectively address these components, it is necessary to engage in a process of communication and dialogue with workers. This involves taking the time to listen to workers’ perspectives, to understand their motivations, and to identify opportunities and capabilities that can support safe behaviour. By involving workers in this process, organizations can build a culture of safety in which everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and those of their colleagues.
It is important to remember that BBS is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different workers will have different motivations, opportunities, and capabilities, and it is essential to tailor the approach to the needs of each individual. This requires an understanding of the cultural and social factors that influence behaviour, and the recognition that people are complex and diverse.
Another crucial aspect of BBS is the development of positive relationships between management and workers. A positive working environment fosters trust and collaboration, which in turn supports the development of a culture of safety. It is also essential to involve workers in the decision-making process, to ensure that their needs and perspectives are taken into account.
BBS is a complex and multifaceted approach that requires a focus on dialogue and understanding. By engaging in a process of communication and collaboration, organizations can build a culture of safety that is based on trust, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to safety. It is only through this approach that the true potential of behaviour-based safety can be realized.