Is behavior-based safety dead? Behavior-based safety (BBS) might be suffering from its own success

Is behavior-based safety dead?Publication: ISHN Magazine
Issue: August 2013

There are countless published articles focusing on the impact, philosophy and successful application of behavioral science to safety (see www.behavior. org/resource.php?id=262 for a list of 200+ BBS-related articles). For the past 35 years, consultants, safety professionals, insurance companies and professors have been helping organizations and communities reduce and eliminate death on the job through the science of behavior analysis and interpersonal feedback. And counter to many beliefs, BBS was not founded on Heinrich’s (1931) published works, but on Komaki’s research in the late 70s and 80s.

With all this success (see Cooper, 2003), why does there seem to be a backlash against BBS in articles (Johnson, 2013 June; Eckenfelder, 2004; Smith, 1999) and confusion about a safety process (Geller, 2000) that has been around for decades? Maybe BBS is suffering from its own success? Total Quality Management (Deming, 1986) has gone through a similar phase where people question the founding philosophy applied in today’s business environment (Balestracci, 2009). Apple is also currently going through a similar backlash (Kumar, 2013) where iPhones are no longer seen as “cool” by the Millennials of today. Has BBS lost its “cool” factor and seen as an outdated philosophy that has run its course? Read the full article here.

Chuck Pettinger

Written by Chuck Pettinger

Implementation & Change Manager at Predictive Solutions

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