Behavioural Safety


Started on July 19, 2024

Behavioural Safety Training

The UK workplace safety record is now one of the world’s best. This is largely due to high standards of training – both traditional health and safety training and behavioural safety training. Going back to the 1960s, creating a safety culture was about physical solutions, such as machine guards to stop accidents. This was very effective and brought accident levels down by about a third.

Next, we looked at creating safety rules and procedures and that reduced accidents by another third. However, there are limits to the improvements that can be achieved through these two approaches.

Behavioural safety is the final piece of the jigsaw. If people at all levels look after themselves and others properly, major further reductions in accidents can be made. Behavioural safety was first researched in the US in the 1970s and started being applied in UK organisations towards the end of the 1980s. The approach is now widely used in a variety of sectors. Behavioural safety is not a substitute for the important traditional approaches, but rather adds an additional dimension to emphasise and to draw upon worker involvement and personal responsibility.

What is Behavioural Safety?

Behavioural safety enables, empowers and encourages workers to organize, control and improve their own safety and that of their colleagues. Workers often have the best solution if their voices are heard. The aim is to instil a questioning attitude and personal responsibility towards health and safety in workers at all levels of the company or organisation. It’s a proactive approach to safety improvement, which aims to provide early warning of potential accidents and incidents by observing safe or unsafe behaviour in the workplace.

A behavioural safety programme can

  • improve worker health and welfare, increase job satisfaction, boost morale, and achieve higher worker retention rates.
  • Workers Compensation Claims can fall, which reduces the cost of worker medical leave and absenteeism.
  • Behavioural safety can also help streamline the workflow, reduce waste, and remove any activity that doesn’t add value.
  • Whether it’s a factory or an office, behavioural safety can stop people duplicating effort and reduce the replication of information

Who is the course for?

This behavioural safety training course is for employers in all types of company, in all sectors from small to large. However, it may be particularly beneficial for smaller companies, where accident rates are twice as high as in larger organisations.  The is largely thought to be because their planning systems are not as thorough.

  • top management needs to buy into the a behavioural safety programme to ensure commitment and resources.
  • There also needs to be leadership and where appropriate, designated safety champions appointed.
  • Success always depends on management being proactive and it is also important to get workforce support the programme and give feedback on the program

Setting Up a Behavioural Safety Program

The course covers the various aspects involved in setting up a successful behavioural safety programme. Initiating a strategy that can significantly change and improve a workplace culture requires planning. Leadership is vital from the very start. Leaders can be in house management, external consultants, or a combination of both.

A new safety culture is the ultimate goal, and everyone from directors to junior workers must accept the need for change and must be committed to it success. These are four phases involved in setting up a successful behavioural safety initiative

This insightful behavioural safety training will take you through a four-phase process for successful implementation

  • Phase OnePreparation to determine if your current safety approach is performing below par, and whether a behavioural safety programme is the right way forward
  • Phase Two – Create an Action Plan – to define the elements of the new culture of workplace safety.
  • Phase three – Implementation – Behavioural safety should be introduced as the new culture and lifestyle of the organisation.
  • Phase Four – Making Sustainability a Goal – Regular communication, consistent management support and ongoing feedback at all levels of the organisation are critical

An organisation implementing behavioural safety should keep every aspect of the scheme as positive as possible. All information should be presented in a realistic enthusiastic way. Your initial and consistent attitude to everything you do should be that the behavioural safety programme is good, and that each individual or team will get personal benefits from the changes.

The HSE report that a “Significant number of accidents reportedly caused by inappropriate behaviour” and that “Behaviours determine the performance of a company’s safety systems”.   For their full analysis on the topic, see Human Factors: Behavioural Safety Approaches — An Introduction

Course ContentModule
Essential Terms and Business Benefits2
How Behavioural Safety Works3
Setting up a Programme4
Ensuring Positive Workforce Attitudes5
Course Assessment

Online assessment for this behavioural safety training is carried out by a series of multiple choice questions. Candidates must answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass each module. We advise you to complete each module and answer the question before moving on to the next module. This provides a better learning experience because you will need to have knowledge from earlier modules to understand some of the material in the later modules. For those who complete the course successfully, a PDF certificate of the award is sent directly to your inbox.  Hard copies of the award are available on request.  The course takes 45 minutes of training to complete. This is course content only and does not cover the time it takes to answer questions.

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