‘Tailor’ Your Behavioral Based Safety Program

Maya NikolovskiSafety managementLeave a Comment

tailorThe next in our series on implementing a Behavioural Based Safety system involves ‘tailoring’ the language, style and branding of the program to your own organisation. 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 organisation so people understand the relevance of the program in terms of language and content. ‘Tailoring’ 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 organisation.

‘Tailoring’ doesn’t mean that you omit any of the key elements of the BBS, as each part of the a BBS program is interlinked. We should NOT think of each element as a separate ‘silo’ of activity. Tailoring 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 is about thinking how to apply 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 organisation’s terminology and language. For example, if your program talks of ‘Health and Safety’, yet your organisation talks of ‘Safety, Health and Security’ make sure you use the same terminology to ensure language is standardised and people will understand your program more easily.

(c) Provide templates and materials in support of your program that are 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 organisation. 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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