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Keywords:

  • behavior-based safety;
  • risk reduction;
  • human factors;
  • conduct of operation;
  • process safety management;
  • job safety analysis

Abstract

This article describes the improvement of a manufacturing site's safety performance that can be attributed, in part, to the successful implementation of a mandated behavior-based safety (BBS) program. As has been discussed in prior articles, improving operating discipline (improving the conduct of operations) will contribute to reducing process safety, health and environmental risks. The BBS program implementation, with its expectation that each employee complete and submit at least one safety observation a month, coincided with several other significant safety initiatives. These other initiatives required employee involvement from all levels of the organization, including implementing process safety management elements, implementing the site's “principles of operation,” and performing daily job safety analyses. This article will describe how the site's BBS observation program has evolved over the last decade, how several human-related issues were overcome, and provides specific examples of some of the changes implemented as a result of the observations. In conclusion, this article shows how direct management involvement and support and increased personnel involvement has improved safety awareness, knowledge, and commitment to help reduce manufacturing risks.

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”—Yogi Berra © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2010