Behavioural Based Safety, or BBS, has become a topic of substantial debate as the issue has been linked to performance.This dissertation examines the modern development of the BBS philosophy in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the concept. The evidence presented illustrates
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Employee injuries have significant impact on organisations as a whole; for example, reputation, stakeholder expectations, financial implications and legislative (Orr, 2008). Organisations therefore have to look increasingly at more effective measures to control or eradicate such events. To this end historically many organisations have looked to the development and implementation of formal safety management systems in order to address this issue. Safety management systems are a formal and prescribed means of managing organisational safety and improving performance (Agnew et al, 2012). The safety management systems currently implemented within organisations generally are centred on policies, procedures, objectives, processes such as risk assessment, hazard identification the use of various safety tools such as JSA’s and the wearing of personal protective equipment, or PPE, and focus on measuring compliance against key targets and objectives.
This dissertation examines how Behaviour Based Safety, or BBS, aids in the drive to prevent accidents and boost overall employee development (Lebbon, Sigurdsson and Austin, 2012). Qatar holds the position of second smallest country in the Arabian Peninsula after the island state of Bahrain. Qatar’s population currently stands at 2.04 million of Development Planning and Statistics, 94 per cent of which are foreign nationals (Qsa.gov.qa., 2014). Of this 94 per cent the majority is low-paid migrant workers. This number is expected to rise significantly in the coming years primarily due to the coming 2020 World Cup and the need for an influx of foreign labour for the booming construction requirement associated with it (Qsa.gov.qa., 2014). These migrant workers will primarily work on critical construction projects, drastically increasing the need for an effective safety program to be in place. The country has grown in a record breaking manner in the last ten years, to become the world’s highest per capita GDP National (Fromherz, 2013). This achievement is primarily based on the vast resources of oil and gas discovered in the country. As a consequence of this discovery, construction of mega production plants has been the main focus of development in the country. This level of construction indicates an influx of safety challenges requiring an up to date and efficient method of implementation. These projects have historically required vast numbers of multi-cultural and diverse workforces, coming from different parts of the world (Orr, 2008). This being the case there are many challenges and great difficulties in bringing about a consciousness of safe work practices and in instilling a positive safety culture (Fromherz, 2013).
The recognition of the need for workplace safety publicly materialized in the work of Mr Heinrich, an Assistant Superintendent of the Engineering and Inspection Division of Travellers Insurance Company during the 1930’s and 1940’s (Heinrich, 1959). His position required an investigation into the high and rising rate of supervisor accident reports during the period .This report revolutionized the working world by concluding that 88% of industrial accidents were primarily caused by unsafe, possibly preventable acts (Heinrich, 1959). This transformative moment in safety strategy motivated an entire industry to introduce reform (Fogarty and Shaw, 2010). Prior to these period witnessed steadily decreasing standards of working conditions that led to the need to reform the system. Heinrich (1959) subsequently published his first book in 1931; Industrial Accident Prevention: A Scientific Approach, laying out a more systematic approach to the study of accident data. This indication of a willingness to embrace change was tempered by the overwhelming capacity that big business interests had to keep costs low, creating a volatile safety environment.
The modern era has maintained that safety is significant concern for companies, often requiring a considerable fraction of their overall revenue stream (Fromherz, 2013). This drive to increase performance and reduce injury has resulted in many companies showing excellent improvement in the area of safety performance, thereby reducing cost and increasing productivity. The rationale for this research rests on assessing the potential for improvement of HSE performance in the Oil and Gas sector, specifically in the Middle East; through a means of behavioural based safety. The intention of the study is to establish the appropriateness of this hypothesis, whether as a process to be used as a standalone mechanism, or additionally, for the augmentation of an existing HSE management system. Behaviour based safety concept, or BBS, has been considered in industry worldwide for around a decade as a means to achieve a positive safety culture and an improved organizational safety performance (Mohr, 2011). An organisation’s culture can be as influential in achieving good safety results as a safety management system. The positive or negative safety culture of an organisation is directly linked to human factors and the positive behaviour of its workforce (Mohr, 2011). According to Books (1999), the largest influences on safety culture are; 1) the style and management commitment; 2) the involvement of employees; 3)training and competence; 4)ability to communicate at all levels; 5) compliance with procedures; and 6)organisational learning.
The current research has affiliation with an earlier study conducted as part of the Post Graduate Diploma award (Turner, 2013). The subject of the previous research was “Safety Culture or Climate: An Appraisal of Perceptions and Scale”. This research sought to measure the health and safety, culture and climate of the researcher’s employer organisation. In this case the researcher determined that there was evidence of a positive safety culture within the XXXX Group of companies. However, this research also illustrated that this positive safety culture has not entirely achieved the expected and desired outcome of zero harm to people. All these factors in themselves do not prevent injuries from continuing to occur within the organisation. The previous study and current research focuses on the Middle East region. In particular to the varying needs and challenges faced by operations based in the region; specifically those that require the engagement of personnel from a vast array of differing backgrounds and cultures and how the principles of behavioural based safety may effectively be used to influence this specific workgroup. To facilitate understanding, it is also important to outline the distinctiveness of the location, (Qatar), the demographics of the workgroup, and the difficulties and challenges related to the management of such a work group within a safe work environment.
Based on the above reasoning this affords the researcher the ideal incentive to both address the topic as an area of research for the required dissertation element in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Postgraduate MSc Degree in Health, Safety & Risk Management and to make recommendations that will enable XXXX Group to continue its safety culture development journey; that is, towards a more safety aware, proactive and empowered workforce; ultimately leading to an overall improvement in the safety performance results attained
1.2 Aims & Objectives
This dissertation research focuses on the potential for improvement of HSE performance in the Oil and Gas sector, specifically in the Middle East; through a means of behavioural based safety. It is evident from recent research that traditional methods of safety management, such as safety management systems and risk assessments, do not wholly protect employees from incidents and injuries, as such organisations are looking for an alternative approach to improve performance and eradicate injury from the workplace, therefore the aim of this project is The following aim has been developed in order to meet this goal of this research:
Critically evaluate existing research into behavioural based health and safety strategies, programmes and model with a view to identify a best practice model for future implementation.
The objectives of the research are as follows:
1) To critically analyse available literature and research studies pertaining to behavioural based health and safety.
2) To ascertain employee perceptions.
3) To identify best practices and success rates of behavioural based safety programmes.
4) To evaluate performance improvement.
5) Determine an appropriate behavioural approach for Labour safety in Qatar.
1.3 Research Questions
In order to fully develop this dissertation the following questions will be considered by this research:
1) What is behavioural based safety and how does it impact Qatar?
2) Which elements of the behavioural based safety process are suited for Qatar?
3) What is the best method of behavioural based safety implementation for Qatar?
4) How to assess behavioural based safety effectiveness in the workplace?
1.4 Scope of this research
This research examines safety perception and behavioural application from 2000 until 2014 in order to ascertain the best possible elements for future implementation. With a national focus on Qatar this research incorporates studies conducted in similar environments and conditions internationally in order to gain insight for these research objectives.
1.5 Structure of the Dissertation
This dissertation will consist of an Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology and Analysis, followed by Discussion/Conclusion.
2 Literature review
“BBS is about everyone’s behaviour, not just the frontline” (Agnew & Ashworth, 2012:1).
3 Methodology / Analysis
Agnew, J. 2012. Behaviour based Safety. Performance management magazine, 1 (1), p. 1.
Books, H. 2009. Reducing error and influencing behaviour. New York, NY.
Fogarty, G. J. and Shaw, A. 2010. Safety climate and the Theory of Planned Behaviour: Towards the prediction of unsafe behaviour. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 42 (5), pp. 1455–1459.
Fromherz, A. J. 2013. Qatar: Politics and the Challenges of Development by Matthew Gray (review). The Middle East Journal, 67 (4), pp. 649–651.
Greene-Roesel, R., Washington, S., Weir, M., Bhatia, R., Hague, M., Wimple, B. 2013. Benefit cost analysis applied to behavioural and engineering safety countermeasures in San Francisco, California.
Heinrich, H. W. 1959. Industrial accident prevention. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Santos-Reyes, J. and Beard, A. N. 2002. Assessing safety management systems. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 15 (2), pp. 77–95.
Lebbon, A., Sigurdsson, S. O. and Austin, J. 2012. Behavioural Safety in the Food Services Industry: Challenges and Outcomes. Journal of Organizational Behaviour Management, 32 (1), pp. 44–57.
Mehta, RK. & Agnew, MJ. 2013. Exertion-dependent effects of physical and mental workload on physiological outcomes and task performance. The IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, 1(1), 3-5.
Mohr, D. P. 2011. Fostering sustainable behaviour. Gabriola, B.C.: New Society Publishers.
Orr, T. 2008. Qatar. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
Qsa.gov.qa. 2014. . Welcome to Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics-Statistics sector website :.. [online] Available at: http://www.qsa.gov.qa/eng/index.htm [Accessed: 27 Mar 2014].
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