Exploratory Essay on Behavior-Based Safety Programs

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Behavioral Based Safety Programs is a technique for safety that centers the behavior of workers as the source of most work-related offenses and illnesses. These schemes have been launched in some Australian workplaces and have helped in producing a Kit for health and safety reps to give information on what these programs are, what their problem is, and what employees can do at their places of work.

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Workplaces Health and Safety Kit

This Kit is a commixture of the works of various trade unions and other health and safety activists, both locally and internationally. Their ideas, work, knowledge and education, and their determination helped in improving workers’ health and safety standards.

What is Involved in Behavior-Based Safety Programs?

  • creating a design team;

  • choosing target behavior from safety incidents, safety audits, and observations;

  • developing a basic checklist;

  • ensuring that there is a measurement system in place;

  • carrying out behavioral observations;

  • delivering feedback;

  • making use of the data;

  • developing improvement targets.

Behavioral-Based Safety Tools

  1. A management team that is dedicated to promoting health and security for the workers

  2. Open communication between workers and their employers and amongst themselves about safety and health issues

  3. An open feedback system to enable workers to learn and grow

  4. Emphasis on safe and healthy behaviors at work

  5. Influence of leadership on the success of Behavioral Based Safety Programs

  6. ABC model

  7. Reinforcement

  8. Feedback

  9. Goal setting

  10. Behavioral observation

Procedure for successfully implementing a Behavioral Based Safety Program in a workplace

  1. Set uncomplicated and realistic targets

  2. Introduce the program in a small division of the organization where the environment is conductive, and the workers are confident and accessible

  3. Get in touch with other organizations to get a view of their experiences with the program

  4. Listen to what employees have to say concerning the program and communicate

  5. Focus on the main causes of accidents and errors in the workplace

  6. Emphasize safety and health at work as a necessity and not an option

Minor Points of Behavioral Based Safety Program in a Workplace

  • approaches to reduce risky and unhealthy practices in the workplace;

  • penalties;

  • surveillance;

  • guidance;

  • codes and procedures to follow;

  • support and training;

  • effects of reinforcements and feedback on workers’ safety and health;

  • training mechanism;

  • communication channel.


An effective behavior-based safety program should include:

  1. Both management and employee engagement

  2. Uncomplicated definitions of targeted behaviors

  3. An observation and feedback process

  4. A procedure for identifying and preventing risks


Frederick, J., & Lessin, N. (2000). Blame the worker: The rise of behavioral-based safety programs. Multinational Monitor, 21(11), 10.

Krause, T., & Hidley, J. H. (1990). The behavior-based safety process.

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