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Behavior-based safety (BBS) is the “application of science of behavior change to real world safety problems” or “A process that creates a safety partnership between management and employees that continually focuses people’s attentions and actions on theirs, and others, daily safety behavior.” 

To be successful a BBS program must include all employees, from the CEO to the front line workers including hourly, salary, union employees, contractors and sub-contractors. To achieve changes in behavior, a change in policy, procedures and/or systems most assuredly will also need some change. Those changes cannot be done without buy-in and support from all involved in making those decisions.

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Over the years, behavior-based safety programs have motivated drivers to wear safety belts and reduce their risky driving practices. Furthermore, these programs have been used to help injury rates at numerous industrial sites drop to all-time lows. On average, one year after implementing BBS, the average recorded injury rate at such sites decreases by 29 percent. After five years, the reduction rate averages at 72 percent; after seven or more years, the average recorded injury rate has dropped by 79 percent.

BBS is used in thousands of companies worldwide. Organizations such as Union Pacific, Hewlett-Packard, ExxonMobil Chemical, Estée Lauder, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, L.L. Bean, and Johnson & Johnson have implemented BBS at their companies.