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Improving Behavioural Based Safety (BBS) through Data Quality Control


I often emphasize the critical role of data in the effectiveness of behavior-based safety (BBS) programs. The quality and quantity of data collected through BBS initiatives are pivotal in shaping efficient and impactful action plans. Let's explore a structured approach to enhancing your BBS program through data-driven strategies.


First, assess whether the quantity of data you're collecting is sufficient. Are you achieving your targets in terms of the number of observations and people observed? If your data quantity meets the objectives, proceed to Action Plan 1.


Action Plan 1: Increase Observation Numbers.


Strategies for this Action Plan might include:

  1. Enhancing observer training and setting reminders for regular observations.

  2. Sharing the significance and application of collected data with observers.

  3. Reviewing and possibly revising your observation strategy.

  4. Employing backup observers and encouraging team observations.

  5. Highlighting the necessity of a representative sample for identifying trends.

  6. Publicizing targets and actual observations to foster transparency.

  7. Recognizing and celebrating achievements in observation targets.


Once the quantity of data is deemed adequate, scrutinize its quality. Are the observation checklists thoroughly completed, capturing all relevant variables, including reasons for non-compliance with safety behaviors? If there are gaps, proceed to Action Plan 2.


Action Plan 2: Enhance Observation Data Quality


This involves:

  1. Providing feedback to observers on the quality of data collected.

  2. Partnering less experienced observers with more proficient ones.

  3. Training or retraining on detailed observation methods.

  4. Regularly reviewing data in observer meetings and using well-documented checklists as examples.

  5. Enhancing checklists with additional prompts to ensure comprehensive data collection.


Next, determine if your program effectively focuses on specific behaviors that can significantly impact safety, as the observation data suggests. Consider secondary criteria like time, day, tenure, department, and environmental factors to pinpoint areas for improvement. If certain behaviors or risks are not being adequately influenced, initiate Action Plan 3.


Action Plan 3: Enhance Data on Concern Areas.


This involves:

  1. Directing observers to concentrate on specific behaviors.

  2. Broadening the scope of inquiry to include various work conditions and contexts.

  3. Engaging workers in identifying and resolving safety issues.


Upon successfully identifying the influences, implement the next Action Plan.


Action Plan 4: Tackle Risk Influences.


Strategies here vary based on the type of influence:

  • For perception influences: Implement training, safety meeting discussions, and reinforcement by management.

  • For habitual influences: Increase observations, use signage, and incorporate meeting reminders.

  • For obstacles and barriers: Analyze incident data to identify issues, involve stakeholders in problem-solving, and seek support for solutions.


We must advocate for a methodical approach to BBS data collection and analysis. This methodology should focus on efficiency, value delivery, and proactive engagement of all stakeholders in the safety culture. Adhering to these guidelines can enhance your organization's safety performance through a data-driven, behavior-based safety program.

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