Behavioral Based Safety

Behavioral Based Safety

 

Talking Safety with John Dyer

 

Part 2 in our series

 

Measuring Behavioral Based Safety

 
One of the primary tasks of every EH&S manager is implementing new ways of improving safety. Behavioral Based Safety is just one such way Veolia is leading the industry, by developing new safety techniques and processes that help employees prevent injury to themselves as well as coworkers and customers. BBS was developed to help companies be proactive, rather than reactive, with anything related to safety. Traditionally, an injury must occur before the system can react, and safety is measured based on lagging indicators, such as accident rates. BBS is proactive, encouraging employees to stop a job whenever they spot potentially unsafe conditions. This approach rewards employees for being safe, rather than focusing on punishing them after an accident occurs.
  

Results

 “Even though this is a leading indicator program, it is actually measured against lagging indicators, including severity rate, lost time, and recordable injury rates. As the program develops, you should see your lagging indicators drop. Before we rolled out the program, we were averaging about 4-6 recordables a year in the Mid Atlantic branch, and now we’re down to about 1 or 2 . It takes time to get it done and takes a lot of commitment from both management and employees, but we’ve seen clear and positive results. In fact, the initiative has been so successful that we’ve started to mentor other companies within OSHA’s VPP program on our BBS methodology.
 
“The feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive as well. We’ve had several say that the safety culture and the observations that Veolia employees are making on their sites takes a little bit of stress away from them, because we’re picking up on safety issues at their facilities. It’s another set of eyes performing an observation or a safety inspection for that customer. What customers might  not notice is being picked up by our employees on a routine basis and corrected or pointed out to them. Our Veolia team notices things like emergency gear—emergency shower or emergency eyewash, for instance—either not working or being blocked by equipment, making them inaccessible to employees. We point out things like that to our customers and correct them.”
 
 
- John Dyer, Director of Health and Safety for Veolia North America
 
 
Mid-Atlantic branch safety results before and after BBS implementation
 
Year        Recordable Injuries          Recordable Rate        Severity Rate           Lost Time Rate     
2012                     5                                     3.60                               15.8                                 0.72
2016                     1                                     0.68                               0.00                                 0.00
 
Increase in the number of BBS submitted and participation by employees
Year                   Result
2013                 243 total BBS events submitted with 54 “good jobs” awarded to employees
2015                 976 total BBS events submitted with 605 “good jobs” awarded to employees
 
Training classes led by employees
In 2016, a total of 47 of the 120 employees (39%) conducted and led a training class for fellow employees in the Mid-Atlantic branch
 

 
Talking Safety with John Dyer - Part 1
One of the primary tasks of every EH&S manager is implementing new ways of improving safety. Behavioral Based Safety (BBS) is just one such way Veolia is leading the industry, by developing new safety techniques and processes that help employees prevent injury to themselves as well as coworkers and customers. BBS was developed to help companies be proactive, rather than reactive, with anything related to safety. Traditionally, an injury must occur before the system can react, and safety is measured based on lagging indicators, such as accident rates. BBS is proactive, encouraging employees to stop a job whenever they spot potentially unsafe conditions. This approach rewards employees for being safe, rather than focusing on punishing them after an accident occurs.
 

A good safety culture is based on trust

 “The most important factor that has to be present in order to build a culture of safety is the trust of the employees. They must be confident that management is committed to the program and will take all of their concerns seriously. Any Veolia employee has the ability to stop any job at any time, and it’s an open door policy, which means that any employee can approach any manager at any level at any time to talk about safety concerns.
 
“The employees also have to trust that the program exists for their benefit. What are they going to get out of it? What is this program going to do for them? A good safety culture means that workers see value in always being vigilant, watching out not only for themselves but also for their fellow workers. They should see value in going above and beyond and doing the little things that may get lost in the day-to-day work.
 
“BBS is driven by positive reinforcement. If someone is seen being a leader or doing something correctly, they are recognized. Examples might include practicing proper ergonomics while lifting a box, noticing drums are not correctly closed before picking them up for shipment, or inspecting safety equipment for wear. The program also goes beyond simple verbal recognition. There is a point system that rewards employees for identifying unsafe conditions, unsafe acts and good jobs  and employees can use those points to get Veolia gear.”
 

Program implementation

“I started the BBS program in the Mid-Atlantic branch four years ago, and last year was the first time it went companywide for the EH&S program. Just like any other training tool, it has to be learned, it has to be taught, and it has to be trained upon. It can’t be forced on an employee. Employees want to know that management has their back and that they can speak up at any time.
 
“When we first rolled out the program, it definitely engaged employees across the board and pulled them out of their comfort zone and into other areas that they may not have been involved. Now, employees are performing facility safety inspections, conducting training sessions and safety audits, and they are finding the ‘smalls,’ as I call them—housekeeping issues, slip and trip hazards, and they’re fixing them and correcting them.”

- John Dyer, Director of Health and Safety for Veolia North America
 

Learn the results next month as our interview concludes