This guide is for union reps - understanding coronavirus and workplace issues, employer negotiations and how best protect the workforce. Behaviour based approaches work best when the physical environment and plant are well maintained and procedures are in place. The process focuses on observing and correcting behaviors, not attitudes, that are critical to safety. For those that cannot be avoided you should evaluate them and combat them at source - that means reducing them and introducing safe systems of work. Behavioural safety is founded on a wrong premise, which is that it is workers cause injuries, rather than management failures. A safety representative would argue the slip happened because the floor was unclean. This is called the 'General Principles of Prevention' and come from a European Directive called the 'Framework Directive'. For unions, the decisions made at board-room level can have much more effect on injury rates than what individual workers do. It is them who make the decisions about workplace health and safety, not the workers, and it is management, directors and owners who ultimately should be held responsible for any breaches. These reward either individual workers, or groups of workers, for not having an injury or for achieving lower injury and illness rates. As behavioural safety focuses on the end point of a chain of events that lead to a worker doing something, it does not address the question of who makes the decisions about work speeds, productivity levels, shift patterns and how they relate to safety. /Hopkins_what_are_we_to_make_of_safe_behavior_programs.pdf, The unions at Dupont produced their own criticism of the company's scheme:, Want to hear about our latest news and blogs? Reinforcing safe ways of working can be an important vehicle for reducing injury and illness and how people act helps determine a safety culture. The two biggest, or at least best known, are the Dupont 'Safety Training Observation Program' (STOP) and BST's 'Leading with Safety' approach. It also says that 'collective protective measures (have) priority over individual protective measures.'. Also, in the US, there is evidence that some of the reductions in injuries are a result of reduced reporting. The way to prevent injuries and illnesses is to remove the risks caused by hazards in the workplace. An HSE briefing on safety culture' states 'Many companies talk about 'safety culture' when referring to the inclination of their employees to comply with rules or act safely. Reports are collated for a steering committee to analyse and recommend practical solutions. People act differently when they are being observed than when they are not. All full behavioural safety programs follow a similar process. What is central to all behavioural safety systems is the belief that injuries and illnesses are a result of 'unsafe acts' by workers and to prevent these unsafe acts management should target specific behaviours and aim to change these based on observing and monitoring workers. This is: Behavioural safety focuses on fixing the unsafe actions of workers which are a result of the system they work in, not the other way around, and by concentrating on the workers actions, behavioural safety turns the hierarchy of controls on its head as behaviour modification programs favour PPE and training as the main ways of preventing injury. Should we ignore trying to change behaviour? If your employer is using a behavioural safety programme you should get advice from your union. However, we often find that the culture and style of management is even more significant, for example a natural, unconscious bias for production over safety, or a tendency to focus on the short term, or being highly reactive'. The committee then produces a set of recommendations to tackle workers' behaviour which go to senior management for approval and implementation. Once methods of controlling hazards are in place it is important that they are explained to workers who are also taught how to use equipment safely, including and personal protective equipment if necessary. This is usually shown as a 'hierarchy of control' measures that employers should follow. You prevent someone who is operating a guillotine from cutting off their hand by ensuring the machine is properly guarded and the blade cannot operate if there is any obstruction, not by teaching the operator to keep their hands out of the way.


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