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Behavioural Safety at the Carrington Site. From a plateau to an iceberg, trying to avoid a few crevasses Peter Webb, HSEQ Manager, Basell Polyolefins Carrington Site. Outline. What is behavioural safety How we implemented a behavioural programme Some key learning points.

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Behavioural Safety at the Carrington Site

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Behavioural safety at the carrington site l.jpg

Behavioural Safety at the Carrington Site

From a plateau to an iceberg, trying to avoid a few crevasses

Peter Webb, HSEQ Manager, Basell Polyolefins Carrington Site

Outline l.jpg


  • What is behavioural safety

  • How we implemented a behavioural programme

  • Some key learning points

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Safety …. A potted history

Technological Improvements



We are here!


Human Factors


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Why Behavioural Safety?

It’s just another tool in the human factors

tool box

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What does a Behavioural Approach Comprise?

All behavioural safety programmes have a system of OBSERVATION and FEEDBACK

The observations can be done by anybody on anybody

It’s all about people talking to each other about safety

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The Observation Process

  • Stop and observe

  • Put the person being observed at ease

  • Explain what you are doing and why

  • Discuss the job being carried out

  • Observe the work activity for a few minutes

  • Praise safe behaviours

  • Discuss any “at risk” behaviours

    • What

    • Why

    • Discuss what the worst consequences could have been

  • Ask what corrective action is required

  • Get commitment to act

  • Finally record the observation - but no names!


On the spot


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Why do we behave the way we do?




Our behaviour is driven by

our attitudes and values

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What Are Behaviours?

Value: “I think safety’s important”

Attitude: “I’m going to use the

right tools for the job”

Behaviour: “*$%^&£!!! I’ve brought

the wrong tool out with me. But I’m

not going to use it, because that would

be unsafe. I’m going to walk back

to the workshop and get the right


Our behaviour is driven by

our attitudes and values

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How can you modify “At Risk” Behaviours?

  • At risk behaviours are driven by attitudes and values

  • But you can’t modify people’s values and attitudes directly ……. They are too deep within us.

  • So you use a system of observations which address the “at risk” behaviours.

  • If you work on modifying the “at risk” behaviours, eventually the “at risk” attitudes and values change too.

    We used to feel it was safe to ride in a car without a seat belt.

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Modify the behaviour and the value will follow

Value: “I feel uncomfortable

and exposed in my car

without a seat belt”

Value: “I feel safe in my car

without a seat belt”

Attitude: “Wearing seat belts

is unnecessary”

Attitude: “Wearing seat belts

is a responsible thing to do”

Behaviour: ”I don’t wear my

seat belt in my car”.

Behaviour: ”I wear my

seat belt in my car”.

Behaviour modification: You

must wear your seat belt, it’s the law!

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Carrington Site

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How did we come to BBS


  • “Systems” initiatives in HSE.

  • Total recordable injury rate reduced from ~18 to ~10 injuries per million hours worked.

    Mid 1990’s

  • Safety performance had plateaued

  • 1996 became aware of behavioural programmes

  • Decision was taken to pilot it on one plant (Styrocell)

  • Engaged BS provider to assist in implementation

  • Started with observations in January 1997.

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BBS Programme

Carrington implementation followed “classical” approach ...

Ref HSE CRR 430/2002

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BBS Programme

Some specifics of our implementation:

List of critical behaviours

  • Developed by reviewing near miss reports.

    Follow up

  • We don’t wait for trends to develop. We follow up on the individual at risks - prioritised short list.

    Facilities vs behaviour

  • We don’t limit the at risks to behaviour related

  • We allow at risks which are related to the facilities as well

  • The most important thing is that people are doing the observations face to face

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BBS Programme

  • Styrocell programme was a great success.

  • Great enthusiasm amongst (most/enough) technicians.

  • Programme was rolled out to rest of site in 1997/8.

  • Steering groups set up in each dept

  • Separate list of critical behaviours in each dept

  • Cross site facilitators group

  • Approx 10 - 15% of workforce were observers (now it’s 100% plus contractors)

  • A lot of creativity and energy put into it

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Total Recordable Injury Rate (per 106 hrs)

> 18Before1990

BBS introduced

Slide18 l.jpg


In 1999 it was clear there were problems

  • Fall off in observations

  • Technicians were saying:

    “The same observations are being done on the same tasks”

    “People can’t be bothered”

    “It’s the same people being observed all the time”

    “Observation process is too formal”

    “Carrington is already safe, so why bother?”

    “What’s coming out of it?”

    “Data input to database is difficult”

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Managers were saying the same as the technicians, and

  • “There’s not enough visible output.”

  • “We need more performance metrics – contact rate, observation quality”

  • “Vision is that everybody needs to be an observer.”

  • “Whole process needs to become part of the existing HSE system.”

  • “We need to move on from the original concept and make BBS our own.”

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  • It was not delivering to its full potential

  • But we thought the approach was fundamentally sound

  • So we launched a “resuscitation”

  • Decision to work without the original BS provider

    ……………….. A representative team identified 4 issues

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Resuscitiation Issue 1: Organisation


  • Need to make line supervisors part of the process.

  • Need to integrate BBS into the site HSE systems.

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Resuscitiation Issue 1: Organisation

The BBS organisation we started with

Made up of Managers and technicians

Only Technicians

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Resuscitiation Issue 1: Organisation

And the organisation we changed to ….

It’s fully


Managers supervisors and technicians

Subgroup made up of ImprovementLeader and cell focal points

Key person

Site divided into cells of 6 - 8 people

Everybody is an observer, including contractors

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Resuscitiation Issue 2: Perceptions


  • Overcome the complacency – “It’s already safe at Carrington”

  • People don’t see the value.


  • At the end of the observation, during the feedback, if there are “at risks” to discuss, jointly agree what was the worst consequence which could have happened.

  • Jointly agree a ranking (L, M, H) for the potential outcome on a defined scale ranging from slight injury (first aid), through to fatality.

    Gets people to visualise what could go wrong

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Resuscitation Issue 3: Reporting


  • Need to pull out learning points.

  • Need to give feedback to observers.

  • Integrate into the business – link with near miss reporting.


    Every month …..

  • Overall KPI’s reviewed by site HSE Council (chaired by Site Manager)

  • Department HSE committees review performance against KPI’s

  • Cell members receive a report showing status of the at risks

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Resuscitation Issue 4: Observations


  • People should want to carry out observations.

  • Need to simplify the observation process.

  • Need to make recording simpler.


  • Original programme design comprised a different list of critical behaviours in each department

  • Created a generic list to be used by everybody

  • Allows any observer to carry out observations anywhere on site

  • The generic list is quite short, observation time can be as short as 5 minutes

  • Some people even do it without the checklist!

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Other things we’ve learned!

Key Performance Indicators

  • Currently have 3 KPI’s:

    • Number of observations, 1 per person per month (all employees and contractors)

    • Quality, Percent of observations for which the “what” and the “why” are filled out > 80%

    • Close-out of “High” at risks, 100% in < 3 months

      Number of observations forms part of bonus scheme

      1800 observations in 2001, 2400 in 2002

      …. We don’t have a KPI on % safe!

      If you get 100% safe, does that mean you’ve finally made it? A safe work place at last?

      Or does it mean people aren’t looking hard enough?

      With our generic list of critical behaviours, it’s hard to imagine we could reach 100% safe.

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Other things we’ve learned!

Management Commitment

Everybody knows its important, but what can they do to show it

  • By taking an active interest

  • Management team must be active observers

  • Use managers to coach in the observer training

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Other things we’ve learned!

Hold an away day in a nice hotel!

  • Organised by the BBS department focal points

  • Attended by site management team, cell focal points, term contractors

  • Generated several action items for enhancing the programme

  • Demonstrates management commitment, generates good ideas, gets buy in.

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Other things we’ve learned!

Organisational readiness

  • Implementing BBS is a big commitment - you don’t want it to fail!

  • Organisational readiness (climate/culture) is a key factor which influences likelihood of success.

  • HSE CRR 430/2002 - of 8 providers interviewed, 3 said they would proceed regardless of readiness.

  • To avoid a costly failure, discuss up front, or conduct independent culture survey.

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Other things we’ve learned!

Can be extended to other areas

e.g. We have now included environmentally critical behaviours in the programme

  • Is environmental protection equipment available

  • Is pollution prevention achieved

  • Releases controlled

  • Waste disposed of appropriately

  • Energy used efficiently

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Other things we’ve learned!

Major Accident Hazards

  • Behavioural safety has been driven by injury frequency

  • Our inventory of critical behaviours was developed by reviewing near miss/incident reports -> focus on workplace safety

  • It doesn’t follow that a reduction in the risks due to major accident hazards will occur

  • Itdepends on the list of critical behaviours

  • Here’s an example of how BBS added to the major accident hazard risk!

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Major Accident Hazards


  • Manlid was not only used for process reasons, but was also a relief device

  • Handle had been fitted to solve a manual handling “at risk” after a BBS observation.

  • Plant change procedure was not followed

  • Bolts interfered with sealing surface

  • Pentane vapour leakage

  • Completely lost sight of the MAH risks


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Major Accident Hazards

  • Incident investigations indicated “Procedures” were often a root cause

  • Procedures often relate to controlling major accident hazards (plant change, safe operation, permit to work etc.)

  • We’ve added “procedures” to our inventory of critical behaviours”

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At risk

At risk

Was there

a procedure for

the activity?

Was the



Major Accident Hazards

  • Procedures:

  • permit to work

  • safe operation

  • plant change

  • control of contractors

  • etc


Was the




You can substitute

the word Training

for Procedure


At risk



References l.jpg


  • Health & Safety Executive (2002). Strategies to promote safe

  • behaviour as part of a health and safety management system,

  • Contract Research Report 430/2002,

  • PRISM (2002). Behavioural Safety Application Guide,


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  • The organisation must be ready for it

  • Management commitment is essential

  • It needs to be easy to carry out the observations

  • Needs to be integrated into the HSE MS

  • Need at least a few enthusiastic people to keep things going in their departments

  • People need to see some output

  • Make sure the programme addresses all the issues which are important for your organisation - Don’t forget about major accident hazards

  • We think BBS works, but it’s not easy

    The End!

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