208-521-5180

Shane,

What is the difference between Behavior Based Safety (BBS) and Human Performance Improvement (HPI)?

Lately there has been some discussion on what the relationship is between Behavior Based Safety (BBS) and Human Performance Improvement (HPI).  Last year and this year a Plenary session at the ASSP (American Society of Safety Professionals) debated this topic. I have not seen this year’s discussion as of yet, but here is my experience on the subject:

I have taught courses on both BBS and HPI at the University of Idaho.  Within the HPI materials is a graph that shows 30% of the influence on error rates (5 per hour on average) come from the competencies (or lack thereof) that the Individual Worker brings to the job (education, experience, actively caring, etc.)

The graph goes on to explain that 70% of the influence on error rates come from the influence of Organizationally Controlled Processes (such as the procedures, leadership, work environment, tools, etc)

I have always seen BBS and HPI as a great marriage.  While they cross-over in what they promote, BBS has tended to be very good at capturing the 30% (individual contributions) and HPI seems to be very good at capturing the 70% (organizationally controlled processes) that influenced the human error.

I believe to do one without the other may be doing a disservice to the worker in creating a holistic approach to a safer work environment and providing defenses to guard against the consequences of errors.

%d bloggers like this: