Safetip #9: Create Multiple BBS Checklists

December 23, 2015 By
In this week’s Safetip, we talk about Behavior-Based Safety (BBS), and how multiple observation checklists may be better for some organizations.

What is BBS?

The purpose of Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) is to reduce incidents through the collection, management and analysis of observational data. For every occupational injury, there are probably thousands of at-risk behaviors. Each at-risk behavior has the potential to cause an incident later. The capture and analysis of at-risk behaviors helps companies identify patterns, trends and root causes.

BBS checklists have been around since the 1970s

BBS checklists were mainly developed in the 1970s. A BBS checklist is unique to each company, but there are common elements. Safety surveys, incident reports, lists of tasks and other information provide an idea of at-risk behaviors, which are then used as the basis of the BBS checklist. The checklist includes behaviors that will be observed as “safe” or “at-risk”, along with a comment section. The checklist can then be amended after it is used and additional at-risk behaviors are identified.

A single checklist or multiple checklists?

One recurring question is whether there should be a single company-wide observation checklist or multiple checklists. As with a lot of questions, the answer is “it depends”. If an organization is comprised of many different functional groups (manufacturing, shipping, product development lab, quality control, etc.) or a large number of workers, it is more likely that multiple checklists will be needed. If multiple checklists are better for your organization, there are a number of ways to determine the number of checklists. For example, the number of departments or the number of workgroups can be used. However, it is important to stay at a certain level and not go too granular to a point where there are too many separate BBS checklists to manage, with a number of them being very similar.

Remember to share ideas and best practices

If your organization has different checklists, for example one per department, it is nevertheless important to share ideas and best practices on improving the observation process, both within each plant, and at the corporate level. While the nature of at-risk behaviors may vary from one department to another, the underlying BBS process is the same, and each can benefit from lessons learned by others.

Additional Resources

Here are links to additional resources on BBS checklists, some of which were used for this post:

Our Safetips series will take a break for the holidays next week. Visit Enablon Insights again Wednesday January 6, 2016 for a brand new Safetip!

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