What does it mean to actively care for people’s safety? Is this the mission of behavior-based safety (BBS)? Let’s understand the difference between “caring” and “acting.” No one wants to see an individual get injured on the job. This is caring. Yet, when workers are asked to muster the courage to offer advice to a peer who is working at-risk, many admit they do not act on their caring by providing behavioral feedback. And how many workers act to show sincere appreciation for a co-worker’s safe behavior? Many employees do not actively care for people’s safety. They don’t go beyond their intrinsic caring and provide proactive injury-prevention action.
Many organizations seem to assume that putting a BBS process in place ensures employees will speak up when observing a co-worker’s at-risk behavior. This is simply not the case. There is certainly value in performing BBS observations – safe and at-risk behaviors are recorded, and hazards are sometimes shared for useful education. But what about going a step further and taking the time to provide immediate and caring feedback to ensure employees continue their safe behavior and correct their at-risk behavior.