Water Well Journal

February 2021

Water Well Journal

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/1330849

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Page 36 of 59

• Something in or over which an employee has control (actively, not passively, involved) • Described in a positive way (what should be done, not what shouldn't be done). Behavior-based safety observations must be objective and based on what a person is actually seen doing, not on opinions or interpretations of an employee's performance. Checklist To put observations into action, several safe behaviors can be compiled into a checklist that employees carry with them during the workday and use to spot-check for different se- lected safe behaviors. If an employee observes a coworker performing a behavior noted on the checklist safely, a check is placed in the "safe" column. If a coworker is observed performing a noted behav- ior unsafely, a check goes in the "unsafe" column. This can take the pulse of the prevalence of safe vs. unsafe behavior on the job and help the safety manager spot problem areas. A checklist can help guide the employee who is conducting the observation. For example, in a driving observation, the checklist might include the use of seatbelts or turn signals and make a note of anything causing distraction. For a job requir- ing the drilling of a borehole, the checklist could include the use of a hardhat, ear protection, and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Feedback Feedback should be given both during and after the obser- vation. During an observation, feedback is important because praising or commending good behavior as it happens encour- ages people to continue those practices. Similarly, the observer may want to interrupt and correct unwanted or unsafe behavior as they see it happen to help break bad habits. While BBS is not about blaming employees, unsafe behavior should never be ignored—it could result in an incident, an injury, or worse. When an employee is engaging in unsafe behavior, corrective feedback should be given. Corrective feedback is providing information on what an employee is doing incorrectly and also providing information for improvement. When giving corrective feedback: • Be specific and focus on the correct behavior only. • Be objective and talk about the behavior, not the person. • Describe the safe behavior and make employees under- stand why this behavior is important to their safety. After the observation is complete and all feedback has been given, the observer should send notes from the observation to the appropriate person or team so actions can be taken to ensure the good behavior continues. It is important to always remember the goal of a BBS program is to correct, rather than punish, unsafe behavior. Goals Goals are an important part of any plan. Each goal needs to be attainable and sustainable or else there is a risk of workers becoming disinterested or discouraged. Having manageable goals with a clear plan of action will make a BBS program more likely to be a success. The root causes of incidents are not always obvious, but they are often caused in some part by one or more unsafe behaviors. Behavior-based safety can help to change unsafe behaviors in the workplace. While BBS can help safety managers pinpoint both safe and unsafe behaviors in order to prevent incidents, it also has the added benefit of improving a company's overall safety culture. Frequent, consistent, and clear communication on safety issues—especially involving behavior—allows organi- zations to make safety a core part of their company values and an integral part of their overall culture. With a more mindful approach to behavior, safety manag- ers, along with employees and upper management, can create an atmosphere where safety is top of mind every single day. facebook.com/WaterWellJournal WWJ February 2021 n 35 Alexandra Walsh is the vice president of Association Vision, a Washington, D.C.–area communications company. She has extensive experience in management positions with a range of organizations. WWJ 4410 MLK Jr. Blvd. Lubbock, TX 79404 806.747.209 6 coteychemical.com THANK YOU GRACE & BRANDI! Nurses are the heart of healthcare and always deserve our gratitude-but especially during these trying times. I wanted to give a special thanks to my daughter and daughter-in-law, Grace and Brandi, you are heroes in my book! –Kevin McGinnis, President Safety Products in the NGWA Bookstore Find NGWA safety products at www.NGWA. org/Bookstore. Included is the Employee Safety Manual, second edition, in a size convenient for storing in vehicles. Among the sections are those covering jobsite safety and confined spaces, fire on a rig, electrical safety, safe use of hand tools, and more. NGWA members receive a discount upon purchase.

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