Determine the Number of BBS Checklists to Use - Safetip #166

Safety Tip and Best Practice
April 03, 2019

This week’s Safetip is about determining the number of BBS checklists that you should create, use and maintain.

What is BBS?

Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) is a process that aims to reduce incidents and improve safety. The process starts with the collection and analysis of observational data. This is followed by an identification of the types of behaviors that need to be encouraged. Finally, workers are observed again, through checklists, to determine if the proper behaviors and actions are being followed.

BBS is not without controversy. Some organizations use it, while others avoid it. Critics say that BBS programs are difficult to maintain, and they may give the impression that employees are being “blamed” by focusing on their behaviors and actions.

But supporters say BBS can effectively improve your safety program if it’s properly implemented. Check out our blog post on the pros and cons of BBS to learn more.

How Many BBS Checklists?

With many different departments, processes and roles inside an organization, it’s not practical to have a single BBS checklist. But there is also a risk of having too many checklists (e.g. one for each specific job), which would complicate the management of the BBS program.

As part of your program, look at the areas with significant exposure to hazards or with high incident rates. This may help determine if you need a separate checklist systematically for each department or functional group, or if you can use the same checklist for two or more different workgroups. Another option is to align safety committees and checklists.

There is no “right” or “wrong” number of checklists. Your circumstances will determine the number that’s right for you. In general, a large number of workers, or a large number of departments or workgroups, may lead to more checklists. The number of areas that require special attention due to increased hazards or incidents may also be factor.

However, it’s best to stay at a certain level and not go too granular, which can lead to too many separate BBS checklists to manage, with many of them being very similar.

Finally, consider using a safety mobile app to improve the efficiency of your BBS program. Through the mobile app, workers can easily and quickly capture observations. The app can also be used to complete BBS checklists directly in the field, online or offline.

Each week we publish a Safetip where we share a safety tip or best practice that contributes to safety excellence. Visit Enablon Insights again next Wednesday for a new Safetip!




Jean-Grégoire Manoukian

Content Thought Leader