Lean Behavior Based Safety®

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Lean BBS

Since 1984 Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) has proven to be an effective tool for the reduction of workplace accidents. While the business climate has changed dramatically since 1984, Behavior-Based Safety has changed little. Even a proven technology or any pre-defined methodology with documented results eventually must evolve or become obsolete.

Lean Behavior-Based Safety (Lean BBS) is an enhanced approach and improvement to traditional Behavior-Based Safety, utilizing aspects of performance and quality systems to drastically reduce the typical internal resource requirements of a Behavior-Based Safety process. Lean Behavior-Based Safety focuses on leveraged (efficient and effective) use of resources. This leaner model is as easy to implement and provides greater and faster return than the resource-intensive, wait and see approaches. Every methodology that produces results must continue to evolve or it will fail to produce new value.

Whether you have an existing process or exploring a new approach to safety improvement, there are many different methods to internalize this capability (i.e., public and private implementation and improvement workshops, hybrid-implementations, fully-supported implementations). Contact us to discuss which approach would produce the most value for you.

Advantages of Lean Behavior-Based Safety:

  • Lower Internal Resource Requirements
  • Lower Cost
  • Shorter Start-up
  • Better Results in Shorter Time
  • Broader Distribution of Information
  • Less Disruption to Operations
  • Greater Support from Workers and Unions
  • Greater internalization and sustainability of techniques and results
  • Extreme focus on efficiency and capturing and delivering value to the customers of the BBS efforts
  • A proven balanced scorecard for BBS that provides insight into both effectiveness and health of the process and its impact on culture.

BBS Process Audits

A process audit is a study of a site that is already doing Behavior-Based Safety. It is designed to measure the vital signs of the site itself and the Behavior-Based Safety process at the site. The study culminates in a report that outlines the site and Behavior-Based Safety process strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The report then goes on to make recommendations on how to strengthen the site and the Behavior-Based Safety process in ways that will enhance success and ensure sustainability.

Who should use it:
Every company who has been doing Behavior-Based Safety for two years or more, regardless of how Behavior-Based Safety was implemented or which consulting company was used.

The audit gives you a status report on your Behavior-Based Safety investment and a plan to keep your process viable while strengthening your site processes in general. Many sites let their process die before discovering that it was ill.

Difference between ProAct Safety and others:
ProAct Safety knows all the other consulting companies and their methods. We use this knowledge to translate and unite various methods stressing their similarities and building on their individual strengths. The result is a process completely customized for the company that allows for differences while building compatibility and synergy.

Please contact us for more information.

On-Site Assessments

A readiness assessment is a study of a site to determine to what extent the site is ready to do Behavior-Based Safety. It includes interviews with key personnel and groups of workers, perception surveys, site observations, and a review of safety documentation including accident investigation reports. The purpose of this data is to help determine what factors would facilitate Behavior-Based Safety, what factors would challenge Behavior-Based Safety, and to develop a site-specific plan to proceed with implementation. The assessment can also discover the few factors that make Behavior-Based Safety virtually impossible so that the site can better prepare or look for alternatives.

Who should use it:
Every company who is trying Behavior-Based Safety for the first time should perform an assessment. Sites that are vastly different from other sites that have previously been assessed should also perform assessments.

NO AMBUSHES! Assessments make for fewer surprises and better implementation plans.

Difference between ProAct Safety and others:
ProAct Safety knows how to look for the real factors that affect Behavior-Based Safety at a site. We have over 1,000 successful implementations and expert knowledge of workplace issues and how they affect new processes like Behavior-Based Safety .

On-Site Consultant Assessment
A ProAct Safety consultant travels to your site and meets with your personnel to perform the assessment. A formal report and analysis of findings is presented upon completion.

Please contact us for pricing and availability.

Fully Supported Implementations

Fully-Supported Implementation
The fully-supported implementation is a full-scale Behavior-Based Safety implementation in which a ProAct Safety consultant works in cooperation with site employees to design, train and implement the Behavior-Based Safety process at the site. ProAct Safety will work with all site personnel and carefully consider all site documentation to determine the best way to make Behavior-Based Safety fit the site and integrate into existing safety efforts.

Each fully-supported implementation includes:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Manager Briefings
  • Supervisor Support Training
  • Site Leadership Team Training
  • Observer Training
  • Employee Briefings
  • Kickoff Activities
  • Data Analysis and Problem-Solving Training
  • Long-term Process Maintenance
  • Follow-up Audits and Training as needed

Who Should Use It:
This approach is best for companies with limited internal resources for training, a rushed implementation schedule or companies who choose to outsource such activities.

Advantages of this approach:
This approach requires the least internal resources from the implementing site and offers the highest probability of success. ProAct Safety personnel bring expertise from hundreds of implementations to the site and leave the team with a wealth of ways in which they can improve safety.

How ProAct Safety is different:
ProAct Safety works with the site to customize the approach to match the site's existing culture and experience while remaining true to the principles that make Behavior-Based Safety work. Our success rate is the best in the industry, our consultants are the most experienced, and our pricing is very competitive.

Multi-Site Implementations

ProAct Safety specializes in offering cost-effective solutions for multi-site implementations. The goal of a consulting solution should be to internalize the skills and expertise needed to be successful in Behavior-Based Safety without creating an ongoing dependency on outside consultants. The primary opportunity for effectively internalizing the Behavior-Based Safety process while minimizing external costs is represented in our Hybrid Implementation Model.

Hybrid Implementation
In a hybrid implementation personnel are selected from multiple sites to be trained as Internal Consultants. A ProAct Safety consultant performs a 3-Day classroom training course to train the personnel on how to implement Behavior-Based Safety then a fully-supported implementation is performed with the Internal Consultants participating. This combination of classroom and hands-on training has proven to be a successful model for Behavior-Based Safety implementation.

Who should use it:
This approach is best for larger companies who want to maximize their own ability to do Behavior-Based Safety while minimizing outside costs. Companies using this approach should have good personnel and internal resources for training.

Advantages of this approach:
This approach develops internal resources for implementing at multiple sites. It controls costs while not drastically sacrificing expertise or probability of success.

How ProAct Safety is different:
ProAct Safety trains and certifies the internal consultant to train personnel at multiple sites without additional costs for the number of people trained. This flexible approach is unusual in the BBS marketplace and allows unparalleled opportunities for companies to save money on implementations.

Internal Consultant Workshop

In an Internal Consultant Certification Workshop, ProAct Safety representatives fully train and certify selected individuals to return to the site and implement Behavior-Based Safety. This intensive 3-day workshop prepares trainers to anticipate and handle the issues that can challenge the success of Behavior-Based Safety efforts. Many companies opt to have ProAct Safety perform a fully-supported implementation at one site and train trainers in conjunction. Training includes ongoing support from ProAct Safety while implementations are in process to ensure the greatest chances of success. ProAct Safety offers the most effective Internal Consultant Certification Workshop on the market today. Instructions are clear, training is easy to deliver, and our experienced consultants can tell you how to handle any problem that can arise.

Who should use it:
This approach is best for companies who want to maximize their own ability to do Behavior-Based Safety while minimizing outside costs. It is ideal for companies with several small sites or for single-site companies with good training personnel. Companies using this approach should have good personnel and internal resources for training.

Advantages of this approach:
This approach develops internal resources for implementing at a site or at multiple sites. It controls costs while not drastically sacrificing expertise or probability of success.

How ProAct Safety is different:
ProAct Safety trains and certifies the internal consultant to train personnel at a site or multiple sites without additional costs for the number of people trained or additional site licensing. This flexible approach is unusual in the Behavior-Based Safety marketplace and allows unparalleled opportunities for companies to save money on implementations.

Multi-Site Integration

Many companies have implemented Behavior-Based Safety at multiple sites in a variety of ways. You may have some "home grown" processes, a few from a consulting company or risk services company. How do you bring all these together into a coherent process that really belongs to your company and not the consultants? ProAct Safety has a program to integrate all your various processes into a single unit that meets the needs of each site while uniting all sites into a company-owned process that allows for communications, comparative data analysis, and independence from copyrights and licensing agreements. Wouldn't it be nice for everyone in Behavior-Based Safety to speak the same language and help each other continuously improve the process for the company, not just their site?

Who should use it:
Every company that has multiple Behavior-Based Safety sites and methodologies.

Improved communications between sites, compatible and comparative data, translatable terminology, and expandability without licensing fees.

Difference between ProAct Safety and others:
ProAct Safety is the only company that is really capable of objectively looking at a process implemented by any consulting company. ProAct Safety is familiar with all the major methods of implementation and all other Behavior-Based Safety consulting companies. The process should fit the site, the site should not be made to fit anyone's process.

Hybrid Options

Among the most successful and cost-effective implementations of Behavior-Based Safety are the ones which integrate Lean Behavior-Based Safety (Lean BBS). A model used by many organizations includes training internal consultants and having them shadow ProAct Safety consultants on fully-supported implementations before being asked to implement on their own. This hybrid combination of internal and external consultant models has been used successfully by many large organizations to contain the cost of global implementation while ensuring the highest quality of internal consultant functions.

Other hybrid combinations are available to fit the special needs of clients with logistical challenges and/or limited budgets for Behavior-Based Safety . A ProAct Safety consultant would be happy to discuss your special needs and suggest options.

Improve Existing Processes

Organizations with existing Behavior-Based Safety processes often look for ways to re-energize old processes or to build increased uniformity among different types of Behavior-Based Safety at different sites. Lean Behavior-Based Safety (Lean BBS) can be the answer to either or both of these issues. There is little gain and no motivating reason to simply switch from one method of Behavior-Based Safety to another. But Lean is not just another method; it is a way to make any method more effective and efficient. No need to change methods or terminology for the sake of change. Lean Behavior-Based Safety is all about making it work better with less use of resources. Different methods grow together through efficiency rather than conversion. Old processes learn how to re-energize their efforts through more effective strategies, and participants get motivated when they see renewed results in accident reductions.

Most existing processes can integrate Lean Behavior-Based Safety principles and design their process changes in a two-day workshop led by ProAct Safety consultants. Organizations with multiple sites can also have internal consultant(s) trained to facilitate each site conversion.

Behavior-Based Safety Software

A key success factor in any implemented BBS Process is data management. The data is what enables continuous improvement and helps the observers keep score. Sometimes the reason workers are not improving in safety is because something is getting in the way. Identification of safety obstacles and barriers, and measuring their impact is a powerful tool in improving safety. Traditional safety tends to only focus on lagging indicators and failure rates. The percent safe provided by a behavioral safety approach, is a great leading metric for comparison to the downstream metrics of accident rates, severity rates, costs of accidents etc.

To Purchase, or Create?

There are several software options available to an organization looking to implement a Behavior-Based Safety process. They range from spreadsheet tools to installed or online databases. ProAct Safety is familiar with all major methodologies and applications currently in use throughout the world. Due to this unique position, our firm can play a support role in identifying, selecting and utilizing the most effective application that fits your needs. Many organizations choose to internally create an application. ProAct safety can provide the critical functional guidance necessary, to ensure a successful outcome.

Data Management and Problem Solving

It is critical for a steering team to design an effective data management and problem-solving technique, in conjunction with their behavior-based safety efforts. This data flows to the steering team and helps them to remove barriers to safety and change the influences that could tempt workers to take risks. Additionally, the ability to isolate problem areas increases the ability to focus corrective effort reducing wasted resources. The observations are most definitely a great tool for beginning the creation of a culture of safety awareness and development of a personal safety focus; however without a good Behavior-Based Safety data management strategy, the process may not be sustainable.

The data usually reveals first the weaknesses of the data, i.e. too little, not representative, not complete, what's and no why's on comments, etc. Once the data gathering process is adjusted, the data starts to reveal where the greatest risks are and why workers are taking them. The observation data combined with the original Pareto Analysis data helps to prioritize the risk issues for the team to address.

The steering team will need to be able to identify trends in the performance. It is important to know if risk taking is increasing, decreasing, or remaining relatively constant. Since the observers in a Behavior-Based Safety process cannot see every precaution taken or not taken at the site, it is important that the behaviors sampled are representative of what is happening across all times and locations at the site. If data is bunched into certain times or locations, the data may not be reliable.

Behavior-Based Safety Process considerations when determining software needs:
  • First define the (paper) trail of how the completed checklists get to the data entry person
  • Determine who the data entry person(s) will be
  • Does the application need to be within the corporate infrastructure, an installable application, or online?
  • How will the steering team/committee retrieve the data from the computer for their meetings (printed copies of reports vs. access to computer and projector to see the data in real time)
  • What data will be posted and shared, and how will this be accomplished
  • Will the team require support in understanding data and trends?
We recommend the following types of reports for Behavior-Based Safety Data Analysis
Report What to Look For Use Typical Distribution
Overview Low % safe

High # of concerns

Adequate sample size
Select areas that need improvement or attention Steering Team
Overview Chart Safe vs. Lucky Feedback to workers Post and Share

(Site wide/location)
Trends Is percent safe increasing, decreasing, or staying the same? Track the effectiveness of the process and specific action plans Steering Team
Workers in areas of action plan focus
Observer Progress Has observer completed assignment and what is the quality of the data Manage the observation process and give feedback and recognition to observers Steering Team
Comments What is influencing a person to take a risk: Perception, habit, or barriers Develop steps of action plans to improve safety Steering Team
Additional Comments Suggestions or concerns about the process from observers or workers Continuous improvement of the process and safety Steering Team
Breakdown Reports Are the areas of concern concentrated by location, time, day, or other variables Target areas of concentration for action plans Steering Team
Action Items Any activities that are a result result from this initiative that are:
  • Actionable
  • Within the team's control (if not, who will manage follow-up?)
  • Focusing on measureable results
Manage activities, follow-up, focus efforts and continuous improvement to ensure a results orientation Steering Team
Corporate Global Strategy

Global organizations face numerous challenges implementing in many different countries, cultures, and languages. ProAct Safety is a veteran of many global initiatives and can help to formulate the strategy that will reach each business unit effectively and stay in-budget and on-time. Our experience with similar clients can point us in a general direction to begin to develop a customized plan to address your particular challenges.


"Shawn was recently hired to be the guest speaker for our annual BBS conference. He did a great job and was well received by the attendees for his knowledge of the subject and his presentation."

John Cobb, PQ Corporation

"The Leadership BBS coaching workshop that Terry Mathis put on, at our site provided our entire group with tools that will help each individual improve the overall motivation of the personnel performing the actual BBS observations, in our mature program. His message was exactly what we needed to move our safety program in a positive direction. Since Terry's presentation/training, the management team has been able to better support our workers, and our numbers and quality of observations have improved significantly. These factors have certainly led to a safer working environment for our folks, with fewer and less significant incidents. Thanks again for working with us, and tailoring the training in a positive direction!"

John Cerutti Jr., Sandia National Labs

"We had a 100% reduction over the last 4 years!!"

Robert Ault, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC

"Shawn was thorough and explained not only the concepts of behavior bases safety but most importantly how it could work within our organization. He is quick to respond not only to questions from myself but by our ever changing environment."

Scott Braak, Safety and Environmental Specaility, Herman Miller

"I have worked with Shawn for almost three years as our partner for implementing and using the ProAct Lean BBS process at Rockwell Automation. He has proven himself to be a great resource and has provided creative solutions to our behavioral based process."

Stuart Gock, Manager, HQ Safety, Rockwell Automation

"Shawn and his company have been extremely helpful in the development of the Rexam safety process. As an internal consultant for Rexam, trained by ProAct, I have frequently sought help from Shawn in dealing with a variety of issues. His breadth of knowledge and experience has provided me with creative solutions to my problems."

Randy Klug, Director of Health & Safety, Rexam Beverage Can

"Shawn is great to work with. You will really appreciate his desire and ability to understand your safety culture prior to offering opportunities for safety improvement. Shawn provides so much support beyond the service agreement and hands over the entire tool box for you to pick and choose the appropriate tools, allowing site to site flexibility as we strive for continuous improvement in safety. ProAct Safety truly thrives on your success. Every part of their process will be customized to your site and will become your process. This is employee operated and managed with very little oversight. Each site had a different implementation strategy, site specific checklist (based on the history of that facility), and the freedom to choose its own pace. Training internal consultants from across the company to manage the process has been extremely cost effective, yet efficient thanks to the constant support from ProAct Safety (by way of telephone, site visits, podcasts, as well as a network of companies that are willing to share successes and opportunities from their experiences). ProAct Safety's approach is perfect for the lean environment of today."

Max Reichen, Safety Director, Hollingsworth & Vose

"My Plant was selected to be the pilot for implementation of Behavioral Based Safety in Europe. During the study, Shawn and his company had visited our Plant several times. Their ultimate knowledge on safety, including classical safety, was way impressive. Also, their approach to employees who are from a different culture had made our kick-off very successful and valuable. Despite the language barriers of the local employees, they were able to reach and understand the employees and make them believe the importance of the program. ProAct's behavioral based safety program, I believe, one of the most successful programs in its area. Program makes employees able to create their own program. Employees create and own the program from the beginning. Nothing is based on templates and pre-defined formats. Every items used during the implementation are created by the employees. I believe this is very important for a program which should be used by employees most of the time. Lean BBS could easily be applied to almost every sector and plant versus other BBS programs. This is also another good thing about the program."

Tayfun Akusta, Environmental, Health and Safety Site Leader-Turkey, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies

"I first had the pleasure of meeting Shawn at his Lean Behavior-Based Safety workshop. I was amazed not only at his mastery of lean philosophy and behavioral science, but also his ability to synthesize the two and communicate the resulting approach to safety in a thoroughly practical manner. Since then, I have continued to learn a great deal from Shawn both directly in conversation and indirectly through his many journal articles blog postings, and webinars. He is always available, always helpful, and always practical. I will continue to look to Shawn for wise counsel and confidently commend him to you for the same."

Todd Hickerson, Director - Health and Safety, Mission Foods

"Shawn and ProAct Safety implemented Lean BBS at one of our manufacturing facilities as a pilot implementation and we followed up by having them train our EHS staff to be internal consultants and implement ProAct's program corporate wide. Shawn and the ProAct team do an excellent job of implementing BBS. They've remained our partners for 6 to 7 years and are always available when we need assistance or an opinion. Shawn is extremely knowledgeable and an excellent speaker/presenter. Any chance I get to hear Shawn speak always leaves me inspired and with renewed energy for safety and behavior based safety."

Todd Miller, Corporate Environment, Health and Safety Manager, Herman Miller