BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY
QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
INTRODUCTION
BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY


“Promoting safe behaviour at work is a critical part of the management of health
& safet...
WHAT ARE BEHAVIOURAL
SAFETY PROGRAMMES?


Behaviour based safety programmes            Naturally, the support, commitment ...
TYPES OF HUMAN FAILURE


                                                                           SLIPS OF ACTION
      ...
IMPLEMENTING A BEHAVIOURAL
SAFETY PROGRAMME

     IMPLEMENTATION                                                 OBSERVATI...
BEHAVIOURAL
SAFETY TRAINING
Whatever programme you develop,
training in behavioural safety
techniques will be required. A ...
GOAL SETTING AND REVIEW                  MODIFY ENVIRONMENT
                                HSE research1 indicated that g...
PITFALLS TO AVOID                         REFERENCES/ FURTHER                     AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
With effective planning...
Dear reader
           Thank you for taking the trouble to read this publication.
           QBE Risk Management believe t...
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Behavioural Safety Issues Forum

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It is estimated that in up to 80% of work related accidents the employee’s behaviour or their acts or omissions is a contributing factor. HSE research1 concluded that proprietary and in-house behavioural safety processes improve
safety when implemented effectively. One study reported an 85% improvement in accident rates. Successful behavioural safety programmes require senior management commitment, suitable resources and effective planning to ensure they fit in with your organisation’s culture and
health and safety management system.
QBE supports clients who decide to implement behavioural safety processes and this Issues Forum discusses the key elements of successful behavioural safety programmes, with practical advice on how to implement one and the pitfalls to avoid.

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Behavioural Safety Issues Forum

  1. 1. BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY “Promoting safe behaviour at work is a critical part of the management of health & safety, because behaviour turns systems and procedures into reality”.1 It is estimated that in up to 80% of work related accidents the employee’s behaviour or their acts or omissions is a contributing factor. HSE research1 concluded that proprietary and in-house behavioural safety processes improve safety when implemented effectively. One study reported an 85% improvement in accident rates. Successful behavioural safety programmes require senior management commitment, suitable resources and effective planning to ensure they fit in with your organisation’s culture and health and safety management system. QBE supports clients who decide to implement behavioural safety processes and this Issues Forum discusses the key elements of successful behavioural safety programmes, with practical advice on how to implement one and the pitfalls to avoid. 2 BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  3. 3. WHAT ARE BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY PROGRAMMES? Behaviour based safety programmes Naturally, the support, commitment HOW DO BEHAVIOURAL tend to focus on the observable and and competence of the management SAFETY PROGRAMMES RELATE measurable behaviours critical to team will be critical to success. safety at a particular facility. They Introduced well, behavioural safety TO HUMAN FACTORS AND promote desired behaviours by programmes should: HUMAN FAILURE? introducing positive reinforcement • Engage significant workforce Behavioural safety programmes are and feedback for behaving safely. participation a proactive way to encourage desired They should not be confused with inspections and audits of the • Improve management visibility behaviours and should be considered workplace for unsafe conditions. for introduction, once effective health • Target specific unsafe behaviours and safety management systems are Behavioural safety programmes should in place. • Collect behavioural safety not be seen as a “quick fix” and prior observational data Within your health and safety to any programme, organisations should satisfy themselves that the key principles • Use data to measure safety management system you will have of managing health and safety such as performance and drive undertaken risk assessments and policy; organisational arrangements; improvements should have considered “human planning and implementing; measuring factors” i.e. how do the demands and • Consider human factors within ergonomics of the job; the attitude and performance; auditing and review are safety improvements skill of the individual and the cultural in place. aspects of your organisation impact • Provide focussed feedback on how the individual may behave? to all employees If not managed effectively, these • Enable unsafe acts to be promptly demands and influences may lead acted upon to the types of “human failure” or With a focus on observable practices behaviour within figure 1. and targeting personal behaviour, Whilst it is possible and desirable behavioural safety programmes may to address these behaviours through be particularly effective at improving effective assessment of the job, the use of personal protective equipment, individual and your organisation, you use of correct tools, manual handling should also consider these human techniques and improving slip/ trip factors within any behavioural safety incidence through housekeeping etc. programme you introduce. 3 BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  4. 4. TYPES OF HUMAN FAILURE SLIPS OF ACTION Action ‘not as planned’ SKILL-BASED ERRORS eg. operating wrong switch Often occur in familiar tasks, when attention is diverted LAPSES OF MEMORY Forgetful, lost place in task, often caused by distraction ERRORS Action or decision that was not intended RULE-BASED MISTAKES Mistake following changes to familiar task and procedure MISTAKES Wrong thing done although thought to be right KNOWLEDGE BASED MISTAKES Wrongful reliance on experience in unfamiliar circumstances HUMAN FAILURES ROUTINE Condoned practice and a normal way of working SITUATIONAL VIOLATIONS Caused by pressure of job Deliberate deviation eg. time pressure, insufficient from rule or procedure staff, right equipment not available EXCEPTIONAL Emergency situations. Breaking rules to solve escalating problems Figure 1: Types of human failure 4 BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  5. 5. IMPLEMENTING A BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION OBSERVATION AND FEEDBACK PROCESS Assess cultural maturity or readiness Modify environment, equipment or systems Gain management & workforce support & ownership Review & goal Monitor performance settings Behavioural safety training Review critical Provide feedback Specify critical behaviours behaviours Assess cultural Conduct maturity or readiness observations Figure 2: Key elements found in behavioural safety programmes CULTURAL MATURITY MANAGEMENT & You should consider either a full time programme co-ordinator or set up a & READINESS WORKFORCE SUPPORT steering group. Steering groups should Prior to commencing a behavioural Management and workforce ownership include respected staff members who safety programme you should have and support for the behavioural safety are representative of the entire an established health and safety process is vital for success of the workforce. It is particularly important management system e.g. in line with programme. An effective way of to involve two groups, namely first line HS(G)65, “Successful Health and gaining support is to engage supervisors and, where applicable, Safety Management” or BS8800 or employees in the process of selection union safety reps as research1 has OHSAS18001. A positive safety culture of the behavioural safety programme shown their involvement is more likely will also exist in your organisation and its implementation. to result in success. e.g. senior manager commitment, competent managers leading by example and effective lines of communication and trust within the organisation. 5 BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  6. 6. BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY TRAINING Whatever programme you develop, training in behavioural safety techniques will be required. A training plan for steering group members and subsequent observers will need to be developed. The nature of training should include human factors, identifying critical safety behaviours and communication skills to assist with individual and group feedback. SPECIFYING CRITICAL SAFETY BEHAVIOURS Your behavioural safety programme will define its objectives and identify the critical safety behaviours (CSB) ESTABLISHING A BASELINE FEEDBACK it will address. A baseline is often established during Positive feedback is one of the most Analysis of accident records can the initial period of observations to important elements in the process as identify the CSB that will have the establish the current level of safe this is the positive consequence that is greatest impact on reducing your behaviours for the critical behaviours introduced to reinforce safe behaviour. accident frequency. However, relying identified. This baseline is useful to Positive reinforcement should be solely on accident records has the measure the programme’s success provided consistently over an limitation that infrequent but CSB may in changing behaviour. extended period of time to ensure be excluded. Your choice of CSB could that safe behaviours become habit. also be influenced by reviewing staff turnover; absenteeism; task based risk OBSERVATIONS Effective feedback requires skill assessments and safe operating The frequency of observations and and to be effective for the receiving procedures; quality of workmanship; numbers to be conducted will need individual should be done soon after near miss and dangerous occurrence to be defined. Observations tend to the observation. Positive feedback reports; audit reports and discussion be conducted by peers rather than by such as “Excellent work John” can with the workforce or feedback from superiors. In general, proprietary and be promoted openly but feedback employee questionnaires. in house systems will create checklists requesting the individual changes their for these observations to be recorded behaviour is best done in private or Once you have determined the CSB could be perceived as punishment. to be observed, checklists should on. You should ensure that the be developed, for completion by behaviours are clearly described Graphical feedback such as percentage trained observers. to enable the observer to judge of behaviours observed as safe should consistently whether someone is be communicated to the workforce behaving safely or unsafely. e.g. via meetings and notice boards. 6 BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  7. 7. GOAL SETTING AND REVIEW MODIFY ENVIRONMENT HSE research1 indicated that goal The observation and feedback process setting increases the amount of may identify unsafe conditions and behavioural change. Goals need to barriers to why the individual could be realistic and achievable otherwise not behave safely. Often these fall people may become demotivated. within the human failures listed above. This information should be collected Some organisations link goal setting and used to review risk assessments, to individual’s appraisals, bonuses followed by actions to create safe and other safety incentive schemes. systems of work. The nature of goal setting may include Prompt feedback to staff on the status/ the required level of participation timescale of such improvements is vital and number of observations to be to maintain staff commitment to the conducted and targets for improving programme. To ensure such actions the percentage of observed safe are implemented there will need to behaviours. be suitable senior management commitment and adequate resources allocated to the programme. MONITOR PERFORMANCE Monitoring improvements in the percentage of safe observations can demonstrate the success of the programme. Where improvements are not being made it is important to investigate this behaviour in detail to identify what barriers exist to behaving safely and to identify the improvements required. REVIEW LIST OF CRITICAL BEHAVIOURS The list of critical behaviours should be revised periodically with new behaviours added or existing ones replaced. This can be done by periodic review of your accident records or following a period when a critical behaviour has become habit and is consistently observed as safe. 7 BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  8. 8. PITFALLS TO AVOID REFERENCES/ FURTHER AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY With effective planning and READING Jon Lawrence, Risk Manager implementation your behavioural 1Strategies to promote safe behaviour Jon Lawrence joined QBE in 2001 and safety programme should be a success. as part of a health and safety has over 20 years experience within Some common pitfalls that you will management system (Contract the insurance industry primarily in the need to address include: research report 430/2002) field of liability risk management. • Lack of senior management Download at: Jon specialises in health and safety commitment www.hse.gov.uk/research/crr_htm/ management systems and assists 2002/crr02430.htm clients to reduce their risk exposures • Adverse behaviour created by Reducing error and influencing and to mitigate potential losses. He insufficient risk assessment and behaviour HS(G)48 is a Chartered Safety and Health creation of unrealistic rules and HSE Books www.hsebooks.co.uk Practitioner and member of IOSH. safety procedures HSE Website QBE • The programme is not “owned” by everyone in the organisation www.hse.gov.uk/humanfactors Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, • Insufficient trust between Behavioural Safety – Kicking bad Habits (IOSH) London, management and employees Download at: EC3M 3BD • Some “off the peg” or consultant www.iosh.co.uk/files/technical/ t: + 44 (0)20 7105 4000 led programmes may not fit well Behaviouralsafety%2Epdf f: + 44 (0)20 7105 4019 with your organisation’s culture enquiries@uk.qbe.com • Ensure the system is in your own www.QBEeurope.com management style, language and presentation • Observational feedback not seen as fair and just • Workforce concerns over “spying” or perception of a blame culture CONCLUSION Behavioural safety programmes can be an effective tool for reducing accident frequency. They will require a concerted effort from both managers and employees and therefore it is essential that suitable planning and resource is allocated prior to the commencement of any programme. 8 BEHAVIOURAL SAFETY QBE ISSUES FORUM MAY 2008
  9. 9. Dear reader Thank you for taking the trouble to read this publication. QBE Risk Management believe that best practice organisations are those where senior individuals facilitate and engage in the processes of sensible risk management. We make this document available to all interest parties in an effort to share knowledge and promote good practise. Our services are available only to clients insured by QBE in Europe. Our insurance products are sold through insurance brokers. We cannot offer advisory services to anyone else, however we would be delighted to hear if you have found this document useful or believe there are risk management issues that do not receive appropriate attention in the media. Regards QBE Risk Management Team email: RM@uk.qbe.com www.QBEeurope.com/RM Disclaimer This document has been produced by QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited (“QIEL”). QIEL is a company member of the QBE Insurance Group. Readership of this Forum does not create an insurer-client, advisor-client, or other business or legal relationship. This Forum provides information about the law to help you understand and manage risk within your organisation. Legal information is not the same as legal advice. This Forum does not purport to provide a definitive statement of the law and is not intended to replace, nor may it be relied upon as a substitute for specific legal or other professional advice. QIEL has acted in good faith to provide an accurate Forum. However, QIEL and the QBE Group do not make any warranties or representations of any kind about the contents of this Forum, the accuracy or timeliness of its contents, or the information or explanations (if any) given. QIEL and the QBE Group do not have any duty to you, whether in contract, tort, under statute or otherwise with respect to or in connection with this Forum or the information contained within it. QIEL and the QBE Group have no obligation to update this report or any information contained within it. To the fullest extent permitted by law, QIEL and the QBE Group disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered or cost incurred by you or by any other person arising out of or in connection with your or any other person’s reliance on this Report or on the information contained within it and for any omissions or inaccuracies. QBE European Operations Plantation Place 30 Fenchurch Street London EC3M 3BD tel +44 (0)20 7105 4000 fax +44 (0)20 7105 4019 QBE European Operations is a trading name of QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited, no.01761561 ('QIEL'), QBE Underwriting Limited, no. 01035198 ('QUL'), QBE Management Services (UK) Limited, no. 03153567 ('QMSUK') and QBE Underwriting Services (UK) Limited, no. 02262145 ('QSUK'), whose registered offices are at Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BD. All four companies are incorporated in England and Wales. QIEL and QUL are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. QUL is a Lloyd's managing agent. QMSUK and QSUK are both Appointed Representatives of QIEL and QUL.

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