Roles Responsibilities and Results for Behavior-Based Safety

BIC - February 2017
By: Shawn M. Galloway
Printable Version

One of the main reasons behavioral safety efforts fail is a lack of clear roles, responsibilities and desired results. A role is how you will be perceived, responsibilities are things you can be observed doing, and the results are what should happen as a result of your efforts. Having implemented hundreds of unique processes, here are just a few examples for your consideration.

Roles: Selector of steering committee members, accountability manager, resource for action plans, cheerleader for the efforts, confidence-builder and motivator. Responsibilities: Provide resources for success. Hold leaders accountable for their support. Approve or reject action plan requests for help from the committee. Approve "easy win" projects to show support and add motivation. Inquire about the process often and provide specific positive reinforcement whenever possible.
Results: Steering committee members will feel valued and supported. Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) will have needed time and resources. Successes in BBS will be recognized and celebrated. Committee action plans will be implemented or rejected with explanation. Support for BBS will be consistent and improving.

Roles: Facilitator of the observation process, scheduler of coverage for committee members and observers, encourager of BBS participation.
Responsibilities: Communicate the role, priority and importance of BBS to all employees. Work out scheduling issues for committee members and observers. Encourage workers to participate in BBS.
Results: BBS will operate smoothly in their areas. BBS participants will feel accommodated and appreciated. Suggestions from the BBS steering committee will be implemented or rejected with explanation.

Steering Committee Member
Roles: Designer, director and promoter of BBS for the site.
Responsibilities: Remain a BBS subject matter expert. Design and continuously improve the checklist, observation and data management strategy, succession planning and motivation strategies. Meet regularly to review data, develop and review action plans, and plan and execute communication strategies. Meet with observers to solve problems and improve quality. Audit and adjust the BBS process. Communicate and publicize focus, status and successes.
Results: BBS will produce great process indicators, injury reduction and improvements in the overall culture.

Roles: Coach safety improvement, set personal example for safety and support the steering committee.
Responsibilities: Gather insight on risks and their reasons. Give balanced feedback to observed workers. Identify barriers and obstacles to safe behavior. Prepare to become a steering committee member.
Results: Everyone will be reminded to work safely, refocused on checklist behaviors, challenged to question perceptions and habits, asked to identify barriers and obstacles, and listened to for questions and suggestions.

Roles: Personal example of safety excellence, collaborator on solving safety problems.
Responsibilities: Cooperate with the observation process. Be open to opportunities to improve safety-related behaviors. Discuss safety issues with observers and offer suggestions. Help observers identify barriers and obstacles to safety. Set a good example.
Results: Constantly increased safety awareness and precaution-taking. Focused checklist items to improve safety. Cooperation with the BBS process.

Several processes also have a facilitator or sponsor who leads the efforts. If readers would like the suggested list for these individuals and additional examples for those outlined herein, contact the author at

Shawn M. Galloway is the CEO of ProAct Safety and co-author of several bestselling books. As an award-winning consultant, adviser, leadership coach and keynote speaker, he has helped hundreds of organizations within every major industry to improve safety strategy, culture, leadership and engagement. He is also the host of the highly acclaimed weekly podcast series Safety Culture Excellence®.
For more information, call (936) 273-8700 or email

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