What do we mean by Behavior?

The term "Behavior" as used in the sense of performance and safety in DOE focuses the physical actions associated with performing safety significant work. Behavior is understood as the ultimate product of an organism's history, thus behaviors are shaped by our background, education, training, work enviornment and the practices reinforced by the organization, supervisors and peers. Working safely is a complex effort; it requires safe design of equipment, tools, and procedures as well as education and training on how to do work safely. Behavioral safety in DOE does not operate in isolation from these other factors. Rather the sucess of behavioral safety programs are predicated on the effectiveness of these other factors. However experience has shown that once developed though proper training, safe work behaviors can decline over time; this is simply normal human tendency. To maintain safe work skills and techniques over time requires constant re-inforcement and this is the domain of behavioral safety. By applying the principles of behavioral safety members of an organzation support one another to keep awareness of hazards and attention to safe work practices at a high level.

What is Behavioral Safety?

  • Is employee-based for continuous improvement.
  • Analyzes tasks and hazards to identify critical safety behaviors.
  • Analyzes behavior based on job observation.
  • Uses feedback about safety performance as reinforcement.

Behavior-based Safety and Integrated Safety Management

The Behavior-based Safety Process is an integral component of the Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS) and is consistent with the five ISMS core functions as follows:

ISMS Core Function
BBS Process Element
Define the Scope of Work
Define the scope of the effort and personnel involved
Analyze the Hazards
Analyze the hazardous behaviors to identify critical safety acts
Develop and Implement Hazard Controls
Develop critical safety behavior checklists and behavioral observation methods
Perform Work Within Controls
Train workers/observers; establish safe acts baseline behavior; begin observation and calculation of the percentage of safe acts
Provide Feedback and Continuous Improvement
Provide feedback to workers and observe improvement in the percentage of safe acts and other measures (OSHA)

Behavioral Safety and the Voluntary Protection Program

The Department of Energy Voluntary Protection Program (DOE-VPP) recognizes and promotes safety and health program excellence based on management leadership, employee involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training. DOE-VPP participants as well as potential applicants can integrate behavioral safety into the site Voluntary Protection Program to help change unsafe and at-risk behaviors of employees and improve their safety and health programs. Behavioral safety uses several methods, such as employee observation and feedback, programs to identify critical safety behaviors, training, positive reinforcement, performance feedback, and measurement.


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This page has been edited 11 times. The last modification was made by
- wecarnes wecarnes on Aug 31, 2011 6:06 am