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BEHAVIOR BASED SAFETY: CHANGING OUR SAFETY CULTURE

What is it?

 

Behavior Based Safety (BBS), now being used at seven of our facilities, is a training process for hourly employees that supplements our traditional safety programs by encouraging employees to address and improve safety behavior before, rather than after an incident occurs. Its success is primarily attributed to two factors: being personal and being employee-driven. BBS promotes individual and collective team efforts and assists in achieving our goal of zero injuries.

 

How Does It Work?

 

Safety and Health Representatives, Deb Hutchison and Tommy Ayala, explain the training and key terms that describe the benefits of Behavior Based Safety:

 

Find the Feeling

 

Train people to ask, "How would you feel if someone here at your plant was hurt?" No one wants to see one of their fellow workers get hurt.

 

Make it Easier

 

John Wooden once said: "When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur." We train people to focus on a few key behaviors that are easy to remember like eyes on path, pace and clean workplace.

 

Praise

 

Encourage each employee to reinforce the positive in his or her coworkers. What person does not like to hear something good about their actions?

 

Ownership

 

Behavior Based Safety is an employee-driven process with management support. Employees select their own Steering Team made up of hourly employees.

 

Unity

 

To provide a team spirit and a sense of belonging, each BBS facility chooses its own logo and slogan. For example, they are no longer just a West 43rd or a San Emidio employee; they are now the West 43rd Desert D.A.W.G.S. (Developing A Winning Game Strategy or the San Emidio Q.U.A.K.E.S. (Quality Unified Attitudes Keep Everyone Safe).

 

Communication

 

BBS is a convenient excuse for workers to talk about safety. In large aggregate plants, employees rarely get a chance to have a conversation with each other. The BBS process encourages all employees to conduct observations throughout the plant. They can observe an area they do not normally get to see, and may notice something different than those who regularly work in that area. They communicate with those workers prior to, and following the observation. If you’re talking about safety, you’re thinking about safety!

 

Learn

 

Everyone learns the process; the Steering Team has the added opportunity to learn how to hold a meeting using an agenda, and to analyze data, identify actions items, delegate assignments, use resources, follow-up and report to their peers. This helps them to increase decision-making and problem solving skills.

 

Accomplish

 

Former New York Giants Coach Bill Parcells said, "When you set small, visible goals, and people achieve them, they start to get into their heads that they can succeed." Through analysis of the data, concerns are identified, worked out and corrected. These accomplishments are announced to all workers so they can become aware of the results of the process.

 

Safety is a decision, not just a reaction or an outcome. BBS encourages teamwork and coaching, helping employees to adjust behaviors and make safe choices before acting.

 

Yes, BBS is changing our safety culture!

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August 2011