The need for BBS training in India

Written and published by the British Safety Council, India on 28 May 2020.

The labour force in India is abundant, and the unemployment rate high. Due to the shortage of jobs, workers tend to neglect their safety as long as they are employed, which makes them easily susceptible to exploitation. This negligence -- combined with the fact that there is only one factory inspector per 506 registered factories -- leads to countless workplace accidents resulting in fatalities. It is estimated that around 48,000 people in India die every year due to occupational accidents. Due to the lack of safety personnel, it is important for employees to play an active part in increasing their safety. This makes Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) training in India extremely important.

BBS program is a process in which management and workers work together to focus their attention on their and others’ daily safety behaviour. Expert instructors often define BBS using the ABC model, i.e., Antecedent, Behaviour, and Consequences. Examples of antecedent include goals, policies, training, or guides. Behaviour, the second component of the ABC model, is how employees respond to various antecedents. And the consequences are what can increase or decrease specific behaviour in the workplace due to their reinforcing or punitive nature. Some of the examples of consequences in the workplace include feedback, recognition, rewards, and task completion.

The five elements of effective BBS training

An effective BBS program is a continuous loop comprising five elements that can continuously adapt to your business’ safety needs. This constant loop works to enhance workplace safety.

First comes the observation of behaviour in employees. This requires contribution from every employee of an organisation, including safety leaders and managers. Every individual can answer questions such as who, where, when, and what to understand the key metrics that will help the next steps in the process.

The next element in the loop is to identify critical at-risk behaviours. Analysing observed behaviour from the first element will enable safety managers to identify common at-risk behaviours.

Once all at-risk behaviours are identified, safety managers and business leaders can come up with various solutions that can mitigate them.

Then comes evaluating determined solutions. If the solutions prove useful for mitigating risks and enhancing safety, then organisations can promote them and encourage new behaviour from workers.

The last element to complete the iterative safety enhancement loop is to determine how effective he determined solutions are. The effectiveness of anything cannot be established unless we evaluate its success. Businesses can determine the effectiveness of the BBS program by observing the changed behaviour of workers and evaluating how it has reduced the workplace injury rate.

When these five elements are implemented correctly, it creates an iterative loop that continuously improves workplace safety.

The role of BBS in improving workplace safety

BBS training in India can improve safety awareness among workers and reduce workplace casualties to help both organisations and employees.

Engages worker in a safety program

Curiosity is the key to engagement. And BBS training increases the curiosity of individual employees to enhance their involvement in safety programs. BBS training program is initiated with the help of observations from every employee in a company. And these observations increase their curiosity of knowing how their inspections helped others and ensure their engagement in the safety program. Also, while observing fellow workers, employees become aware of certain at-risk behaviours and the importance of safety. The involvement of employees in developing organisations’ safety measures makes them perceive safety guidelines less like orders and more like a collective effort. The rewards and reinforcement included in the BBS program act like incentives to enhance worker engagement.

Creates an iterative loop for safety progress

The BBS training program loop creates an additional iterative loop for constant safety progress. Since BBS encourages continuous recordkeeping practices across crucial safety metrics, it allows identifying all the risk elements of an employees’ daily tasks. And then, safety managers and business leaders can determine safe alternative behaviour to complete these at-risk tasks. Hence, BBS programs maximize the degree of safety at workplaces by mitigating frequent workplace accidents and injuries.

Reduces frequency of workplace injuries

After defining safe alternative work behaviour, companies usually create a checklist for all the workers to follow before they start any at-risk task. This ensures that everyone takes all known precautionary safety measures before beginning any at-risk task. Businesses also offer positive reinforcement and rewards to employees who follow the checklist to enhance workplace safety. Checklist creation, positive reinforcement, and rewards all contribute to reduced frequency of workplace injuries.

Saves costs associated with workplace accidents

Various direct and indirect costs associated with workplace accidents are saved by mitigating them. Direct costs are directly paid expenses such as insurance, and indirect costs are accidents’ impacts on a company such as lost productive time and hiring temporary employees. Incorporating an efficient BBS program helps businesses to save all such costs associated with workplace accidents by mitigating frequent casualties.

The potential benefits of BBS are limitless, and its impact on workplace safety is undeniable. Hence, organisations should plan on including BBS training and programs into their work culture. But creating an effective BBS training loop comes with challenges. For instance, one of the numerous challenges is training your employees to observe their fellow workers’ behaviour. Overcoming such challenges is not that hard if you have the right support and guidance.

You can get in touch with the British Safety Council to learn more about BBS training programs in India and get adequate support and guidance. In addition to BBS training programs, the British Safety Council also offers various other digital safety courses and live online training sessions. These digital safety courses can help you and your employees get complete health and safety education to minimize workplace accidents and casualties.