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Behavioural Based Safety A Worker Perspective
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  1. Behavioural Based SafetyA Worker Perspective Steve Mullins ACTU OHS Officer

  2. Incidence Rates of Serious Claims

  3. Mining

  4. Work-related hospitalisations dataset Highest

  5. “BBS is frequently turned to when organisations have reached a plateau in the safety performance.”

  6. “Many companies have experienced a 40 – 75% decline in their accident rates within 6-12 months”

  7. “…96% of all workplace accidents are being triggered by unsafe behaviour”

  8. “require front line staff to carry out behavioural safety observations on their colleagues” UK’s Health and Safety Executive

  9. Source:

  10. What must be present for an “unsafe behaviour”? a HAZARD

  11. There are no exceptions All injuries and illnesses are a result of exposure to a hazard

  12. Risk Assessment Hazard Risk Risk • Data analysis • Surveys • Interviews • Worker complaints • Government regs • Inspections/audits • Prioritise hazards • Risk analysis • Select controls based on hierarchy Source: Nancy Lessin, health and safety co-ordinator for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO

  13. “Three basic steps [that] should be taken to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. They are based on the concept that the workplace should be modified to suit people. Not vice versa.” • Source: WA Commission for Occupational Safety and Health • “Guidance Note - General Duty of Care in Western Australian Workplaces”

  14. Most Effective Least Effective

  15. The focus is reversed

  16. So what you end up having is Hazard Risk Source: Nancy Lessin, health and safety coordinator for the Massachusetts AFL-CIO

  17. Short-comings of Observing Behaviour • focuses on the end of the chain of events • does not ask the questions “why” • only looks at what happens often and repeatedly • will not give any information about the inherent dangers in a work process • can only change the decision making at the lower level • takes lots of time and costs a lot. • can crowd other approaches out • does not observe what managers or the Board are doing or not doing • psychosocial issues are ignored • blames the worker • puts worker against worker • does not question those who make decisions

  18. Fixing the Workplace v. Fixing Behaviour • In the behaviour modification model, the only thing of importance is the observation of how the welder performs their task. • In a fix the workplace approach, the starting point is that hot work on a running process unit in an oil or chemical plant is inherently very dangerous.

  19. ABS Work Related Injuries

  20. WorkCover Authority of New South Wales (Inspector Simpson) v Delta Electricity [2007] NSWIRComm 226 (12 September 2007)

  21. “D-ZIP has been implemented in all of Delta Electricity’s business units and the corporate office to reduce at-risk behaviours and improve safety performance. Delta Electricity has trained over 95% of its employees and a number of contractors as D-ZIP observers…”

  22. The Decision • I determine penalty in this matter and make orders as follows: • (1) The defendant is convicted of the offence charged; • (2) I impose a penalty of $190,000; • (3) I allocate a moiety to the prosecutor on the usual terms; (4) The defendant is to pay the costs of the prosecutor as agreed or assessed.

  23. “Commendably, Delta received an award from the Labor Council of New South Wales in 2004/2005 for excellence in workplace safety in relation to a proposed fatigue policy. That policy was subsequently adopted and is currently in force.”

  24. “It is more effective … to hold management rather than workers responsible for illness and injury.” “It is simply a utilitarian argument: holding management responsible is more likely to achieve the desired outcome than is blaming the victim.” Professor Andrew Hopkins, ANU, “Making Safety Work”

  25. Create a Management Safety Culture • Make safety a management priority • Take responsibility • Focus on zero harm not zero LTI’s • Eliminate the hazard • Consult HSRs • DON’T BLAME THE VICTIM