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TransformationalSafety.Com is the worlds leading provider of safety consulting services provided within the framework of the globally recognised transformational leadership models.
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|TransformationalSafety.Com & BBS|
|Written by David G Broadbent|
TransformationalSafety.Com recognises the invaluable place of BBS within the repertoire of tools to make our workplaces safer. It is for this reason that we have developed the service of BBS Cultural Mapping. In other words we are able to assess the safety culture of an organisation with special reference to the implementation and application of BBS Systems. By mapping the culture we are then able to customise interventions that serve to fill any transformational safety cultural gaps. We believe this is the key to sustained BBS outcomes.
The popularity of the behavioural approach stems in part from the widely held view that “human factors” are the primary cause of the great majority of accidents. A conclusion which is frequently drawn from this observation is that the focus of accident prevention efforts needs to be shifted from engineering solutions to ensuring compliance with safe work practices.
This is the basis of the famous DuPont approach. Those responsible for developing the DuPont system assert strenuously that it is far more than a simple behaviour modification system, yet its emphasis is undeniably on behaviour modification and that is how it is understood by many of its advocates as well as its critics.
There is a basic fallacy in concluding that because the great majority of accidents are the result of human factors, in particular unsafe behaviour, the sole solution is to try to modify this behaviour. The fallacy is the presumption that accidents have a single or a primary cause; often referred to as mono-causality.
Modern accident analysis proceeds on the opposite assumption, that there is a potentially infinite network of causes which contribute to an accident, and if those causes had taken a different path, the accident would probably not have occurred. What this means is that while unsafe behaviour may have triggered the accident, that unsafe behaviour is better viewed as something requiring explanation, rather than itself an explanation. The moment we begin to ask why the behaviour occurred we move back along various causal chains which invariably implicate, in some way, local cultural factors. Just as the great majority of accidents can be attributed to unsafe behaviour by front line workers, the great majority of accidents are at the same time attributable to actions or inactions by others (cognitive behaviours).
Consider this reference to falling down the stairs.
Many behavioural incident investigations draw to a conclusion at around this point and focus on the "tip of the iceberg"; counsel the employee about using the handrail, provide "training" regarding safe use of stairways, add a small "slap on the wrist" and off you go. It is no surprise that the global position of the organised labour movement to the traditional behavioural intervention is to oppose it. Why? Because they believe that there is too great a focus on trying to identify employee fault; rather than look at the issue more systemically. TransformationalSafety.Com shares some sympathies with the International Labour Organisation as the traditional model upon which the majority of behavioural systems have been based, clearly identifies "worker fault" as a key element in the causal chain. We believe this is far too simplistic a criticism and the position of TransformationalSafety.Com is to continue to ask the questions.
Consider the previous example a little more deeply.
All manner of both external and internal pressures routinely lie behind unsafe actions by workers in this way. Despite all the rhetoric about putting safety first, the reported experience of many workers, not all, is that when "push comes to shove", production takes precedence over safety. We can though take these behavioural observations further if we wish. The failure to use the handrail is not the only reason the worker fell.
This example could easily be developed further, but this is far enough to demonstrate the truly multi-causal nature of every accident.
All of the factors that contribute to "at-risk" behaviours therefore need to be identified and addressed for them to be effectively managed. It is for these reasons that TransformationalSafety.Com's approach is not to deny the existence of risk in the workplace. Just as we all take numerous risks from the moment we arise in the morning just to arrive at work, it is unrealistic to then not give direct attention to the constructs of risk within a workplace system. We are amongst the first to utilise the tools associated with Operational Risk Management (ORM) in the Australian workplace context. Our ORM resources have been sourced from the United States Military; where the impacts of poor risk outcomes are generally quite severe.
What the TransformationalSafety.Com Safety Culture Improvement System does, is to examine and identify those specific underlying perceptions and attitudes which contribute to poor and/or unacceptable management of risk. Having established these attitudes, it responds by developing targeted tools and training to develop a culture of safe risk application and risk management in consultation with the organisation. What this means is that we do not, and will not, just provide "off the shelf" tools that require your operation to reengineer itself. These types of intervention invariably are very difficult to sustain and are prone to system failure. The reason they invariably fail is that they are externally imposed rather than internally developmentally evolved.
What we aim to achieve is in partnership with out clients develop and adapt proven techniques to seamlessly involve themselves within pre-existing systems. Whilst this is not always possible it always remains our preferred option. TransformationalSafety.Com is primarily interested in developing a suite of psycho-behavioural interventions that compliment your current systems and practices.