Behavior Based Safety: Constructing a Culture of Safety Through Conscious Actions

Breaking Down Behavior Based Safety: A Comprehensive Approach to Minimizing Risk and Creating a Safer Workplace

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the concept and importance of Behavior Based Safety (BBS).
  • Delving into the two main approaches of BBS: micro and macro.
  • Exploring the seven principles underlying Behavior Based Safety.
  • Considering the key elements for implementing an effective BBS program.
  • Highlighting the role of digital tools in facilitating Behavior Based Safety initiatives.


Within the complex tapestry of workplace safety, Behavior Based Safety (BBS) is a vibrant thread. This proactive approach, centered on enhancing safe behavior, strives to reduce hazards, risks, and incidents through a meticulous analysis of individual behaviors and their subsequent consequences. By recognizing the importance of BBS, organizations can cultivate a comprehensive culture of safety, which not only serves to protect employees but also fosters long-term organizational success.

Understanding Behavior Based Safety

BBS stems from the principle that the majority of accidents are preventable and often result from unsafe behaviors. By closely observing behaviors, determining their consequences, and providing reinforcement for desired behaviors, organizations can effectively mitigate risk. This approach calls for trust and cooperation between leaders and employees, striving to embed safety as a core value within every employee.

The significance of BBS lies in its potential to offer enduring solutions for risk elimination. It lays the groundwork for a culture of safety in the workplace, encouraging each employee to value their own safety and the safety of their coworkers. By reducing unsafe behaviors and continuously improving safety performance, organizations can realize a total safety culture.

Micro Approach to Behavior Based Safety

The micro BBS approach aims to bring about a change in individual employee behaviors to enhance workplace safety. This approach is based on the ABC model proposed by Thomas Krause, where ‘A’ stands for Antecedent, ‘B’ for Behavior, and ‘C’ for Consequences. This seven-step process encompasses identifying problematic behaviors, uncovering their root causes, devising corrective actions, and developing, implementing, and evaluating a BBS program.

Macro Approach to Behavior Based Safety

On the other hand, the macro BBS approach seeks to instigate a permanent shift in the organization’s culture, manifesting in a total safety culture. Michael Topf proposed a six-step process to facilitate this transformation, encompassing everything from cultural assessment and training to encouragement, reinforcement, continuous support, and feedback. This strategy needs to permeate all levels of the organization for the macro BBS approach to be effective.

The Guiding Principles of Behavior Based Safety

BBS rests on a set of core principles, as described by E. Scott Geller. These principles underline the importance of both individual and organizational behavior in fostering a total safety culture. Key aspects include ensuring that behavior interventions are observable and measurable, utilizing antecedents and consequences effectively, creating a hypothesis, and considering employee feelings and attitudes.

Key Elements of a Successful Behavior Based Safety System

The implementation of a successful BBS program hinges on several critical elements:

  • Clear behavior and performance standards that are well-communicated to all participants.
  • Necessary physical and psychosocial resources to facilitate the BBS system.
  • An effective system of measurement to evaluate performance objectively.
  • Appropriate application of effective consequences to encourage favorable behaviors.
  • Continuous evaluation and improvement of the BBS program.

These elements help shape an environment where safe behaviors are encouraged, recognized, and rewarded.

Leveraging Digital Tools for Behavior Based Safety

In today’s digital age, technological tools can greatly enhance the implementation and effectiveness of a BBS program. A digital tool, like SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), can streamline the collection of behavioral observations, enabling managers to swiftly distribute behavior-based safety checklists and eliminate cumbersome paperwork. Features such as audit templates, multimedia upload options, audit scheduling, and data analytics provide a comprehensive and efficient solution for implementing and maintaining a robust BBS program.

Conclusion: Building a Culture of Safety

Through the lens of Behavior Based Safety, organizations can proactively work towards reducing workplace hazards and fostering a culture of safety. The journey towards this goal may require time and considerable effort, but the benefits—ranging from enhanced safety performance to improved employee morale and productivity—are undoubtedly worth the investment. By focusing on individual and organizational behaviors, we can not only mitigate the risks inherent in our workplaces but also create an environment where safety becomes second nature.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.