chapter  27
4 Pages

Behavior-Based Safety

WithW. David Yates

Since the 1980s, there have been a wide variety of viewpoints regarding the topic of behavior-based safety programs. They can range from the viewpoint that behavior-based safety programs are the "catch all, end all" solution to accidents to "behavior-based programs are designed strictly to blame the worker without eliminating the hazards". In 1931, Herbert William Heinrich published a book entitled Industrial Accident Prevention: A Scientific Approach. With the publication of Heinrich's book companies began to make a more systematic approach to analyzing accident data. His interest was in analyzing data and not in changing it. Behavior-based safety has its basis in the study of behaviors. When behaviors are studied or observed specifically for safety, then efforts and resources can be provided in order to convert unsafe behaviors into safe behaviors. The author suggests that behavior-based safety is a multistage process leading to observation, feedback, and continuous safety improvement.