Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) - Advantages and Criticism

Open access


Behaviour-Based Safety (BBS) is a popular approach to enhancing occupational safety, with many researchers reporting successes of implementing BBS programs. There are, however, studies that see this approach as illusory, bringing more harm than good. The first goal of this article is to present an overview of literature providing both evidence and elaboration of implementing BBS programs, highlighting both positive and negative views of the approach. The second goal is to discuss the perception of the method, based on a literature review and authors’ own research.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Boczkowska K. Znajmiecka-Sikora M. 2014. Behavior-Based Safety - successful metod of building safety culture of the organization Marketing i rynek 5 766-771 (in: Polish).

  • Brown G.D. Barab J. 2007. “Cooking The Books”Behavior-Based Safety At The San Francisco Bay Bridge New Solutions 17(4) 311-324

  • Chen D. Tian H. 2012. Behavior Based Safety for Accidents Prevention and Positive Study in China Construction Project Procedia Engineering 43 528-534.

  • Choudry R.M. 2014. Behavior-based safety on construction sites: A case study Accident Analysis and Prevention 70 14-23.

  • DeJoy D. 2005. Behavior change versus culture change: Divergent approaches to managing workplace safety Safety Science 43 105-129.

  • Fogarty G.J. Shaw A. 2010. Safety climate and the Theory of Planned Behavior: Towards the prediction of unsafe behavior Accident Analysis and Prevention 42 1455-1459.

  • Frederick J. Lessin N. 2000. Blame The Worker: The Rise of Behavioral- Based Safety Programs The Multinational Monitor 21(11) 10-17.

  • Geller E.S. 2001. Behavior-based safety in industry: Realizing the largescale potential of psychology to promote human welfare Applied & Preventive Psychology 10 87-105.

  • Geller E.S. 2005. Behavior-Based Safety and Occupational Risk Management Behavior Modification 29 (3) (May) 539-561.

  • Guo B.H.W. Yiu T.W. González V.A. 2016. Predicting safety behavior in the construction industry: Development and test of an integrative model Safety Science 84 1-11.

  • Liu X. Huang G. Huang H. Wang S. Xiao Y. Chen W. 2015. Safety climate safety behavior and worker injuries in the Chinese manufacturing industry Safety Science 78 173-178.

  • McAfee R.B. Winn A.R. 1989. The Use of Incentives/Feedback to Enhance Work Place Safety: A Critique of the Literature Journal of Safety Research 20 7-19.

  • Pęciłło M. 2010. Effectiveness of unsafe behavior modification programs - experiences of foreign enterprises Bezpieczeństwo Pracy: nauka i praktyka 11 16-19 (in: Polish).

  • Pęciłło M. 2011. Unsafe behavior modification programs - results of implementation in chosen Polish enterprises Bezpieczeństwo Pracy: nauka i praktyka 5 9-11 (in: Polish).

  • Seo H.-C. Lee Y.-S. Kim J.-J. Jee N.-Y. 2015. Analyzing safety behaviors of temporary construction workers using structural equation modeling Safety Science 77 160-168.

  • Smith M. J. Anger W. K. Uslan S. S. 1978. Behavioral modification applied to occupational safety. Journal of Safety Research 10(2) 87-88. Smith T.A. 1999. What’s wrong with behavior-based safety? Professional Safety 44 (9) 37-40.

  • Sulzer-Azaroff B. 1978. Behavioral Ecology And Accident Prevention Journal of Organizational Behavior Management 2 (1) 11-44.

  • Sulzer-Azaroff B. Austin J. 2000. Does BBS Work? Behavior-Based Safety & Injury Reduction: A Survey Of The Evidence Professional Safety 45(7) 19-24.

  • Swuste P. van Gulijk C. Zwaard W. 2010. Safety metaphors and theories a review of the occupational safety literature of the US UK and The Netherlands till the first part of the 20th century Safety Science 48 1000-1018.

  • Swuste P. van Gulijk C. Zwaard W. Oostendorp Y. 2014. Occupational safety theories models and metaphors in the three decades since World War II in the United States Britain and the Netherlands: A literature review Safety Science 62 16-27.

  • Vinodkumar M.N. Bhasi M. 2010. Safety management practices and safety behaviour: Assessing the mediating role of safety knowledge and motivation Accident Analysis and Prevention 42 2082-2093.

  • Zohar D. 1980. Safety Climate in Industrial Organizations: Theoretical and Applied Implications Journal of Applied Psychology 65 (1) 96-102.

  • Zohar D. Erev I. 2007. On the difficulty of promoting workers' safety behaviour: Overcoming the under-weighting of routine risks International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management 7(2) (January) 122-136.

Journal information
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 302 229 13
PDF Downloads 460 388 37