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‘Tailor’ Your Behavioral Based Safety Program

Tailor your Behavioral Based Safety Program

The next in our series on implementing and improving a Behavioural Based Safety system involves ‘tailoring’ the language, style, and branding of the program to your own organization. It’s can be a great idea to use a standard ‘off-the-shelf’ program that has been proven to work elsewhere – but it MUST be tailored to your own organization so people understand the relevance of the program in terms of language and content. To tailor your Behavioral Based Safety Program in this context refers to the need to ensure that there is the correct amount of planning, control, and governance in your program to ensure a fit in your organization.

‘Tailoring’ doesn’t mean that you omit any of the key elements of the BBS, as each part of the BBS program is interlinked. We should NOT think of each element as a separate ‘silo’ of activity. To tailor your Behavioral Based Safety Program is about adapting the method to external factors such as corporate standards and project factors such as the scale or scope of the project. It’s important not to overburden the BBS but to ensure that an appropriate level of control can be provided. ‘Tailoring’ therefore is about thinking about how to apply for the program and then using it with a lightness of touch.

In principle then, consider as follows:

(a) Adapt the theme of the program and ensure that you capture any corporate policies and standards. Consider Risk, Quality, Strategy, and Communications strategies and how your program needs to fit into each of these.

(b) Apply your organization’s terminology and language. For example, if your program talks of ‘Health and Safety’, yet your organization talks of ‘Safety, Health, and Security’ make sure you use the same terminology to ensure language is standardized and people will understand your program more easily.

(c) Provide templates and materials in support of your program that is branded in line with your corporate branding and imagery.

(d) Adapt the program’s roles and responsibilities so that you make full use of the skills and expertise within your organization. Make sure that you match individuals’ capabilities and authorities to the tasks they will undertake.

Finally (e), adapt the processes of your program. Of course, all processes should be relevant even in simple programs but the degree of formality and administration employed should be compatible with the program plan.

Once you’ve ‘tailored’ your program, get together with the project team and discuss what you’ve developed, or just like any form of tailoring, try out your new outfit before you buy!

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