Logistics Minded
Safety in warehouses

On the way towards zero accidents in GEODIS’ warehouses: implementing BBS


GEODIS is always looking for new approaches in order to ensure the safety of its employees in the workplace. This article aims at introducing some innovative measures that have been implemented in the WEMEA [1] region regarding Behaviour-Based Safety.

What is BBS?

Description of BBSBehaviour-Based Safety is an established method which promotes interventions among employees and consists in observing the employees performing daily work tasks, setting goals carefully and giving timely feedback on safety-related behaviour. In a nutshell, BBS consists in changing unsafe individual behaviours and reinforcing safe behaviours. Through this initiative, employees are encouraged to consider the risks of incident involvement, and to assess their own behaviour as safe or unsafe. If the safe way is difficult or uncomfortable, employees will be tempted to behave unsafely, unsafe becoming thus a habit. The idea is to make sure that process and people meet properly, but also inform management and employees of the overall safety of their workplace.

The most important part of BBS is the observation and analysis of the workplace. There are three elements to look out for when it comes to safety, if you follow the ABC model, which consist in analysing the antecedents, the behaviour and the consequences. For the antecedents, the auditee will have to look out for details in the workplace that may lead people to act in a certain way (mainly unsafe). Then, analyse the behaviour that comes with this situation, how an employee will act towards it. Finally, the consequence of the situation, what can happen during and after the employee’s behaviour, if they acted in an unsafe way will they be punished? The consequences that come from an unsafe behaviour will influence a future behaviour.

BBS in Bird’s Triagle:

BBS in Bird's Triagle

How to implement a BBS program?

In order to implement an effective BBS program, it can be helpful to determine what kind of behaviours must be observed based on the company’s major risks. It is important to create a form that can be quickly and easily completed by observers in the field and that can offer a reactive solution to an issue.

Implementation of BBS in GEODIS warehouseDani Gomez, GEODIS Spain STS/QHSE Director, has implemented BBS visits in the GEODIS warehouse in Castellbisbal in order to improve employee’s safety in the workplace. During those visits, each employee is given a form to fill in 10-20 minutes. Employees are audited on the potential risks they might have noticed and the convenient solution but also on safety points that every employee must be aware of. They must be mature about the assessment when answering, since general safety is the main objective. The observations made during the visits will help determine safe or unsafe behaviours. Employees must provide immediate feedback and all data should be documented. After analysing the data, managers promote the change in behaviour and assess the effectiveness. They also establish safety talks and a list of general risks encountered. In addition, they assist, register the information and give a feedback, these are all part of a control tool that aims to help increase the quality of BBS.

Once the employees are familiar with the proper way of working, they can participate in the BBS visits. Indeed, they must be aware of every safety process beforehand. It is important to collect forms from various employees to have the most objective points of view and to pin down the major issues. Managers opt for a LEAN approach in terms of management, they talk to the employees, ask them advice on how to improve situations and commit to these improvement suggestions. In general terms, BBS helped increase the safety behaviours of the people who were audited. If the BBS is well carried out, everyone should conduct an audit at least once every 3-6 months. In Spain, this approach allowed to improve the commitment with the “right way of doing things” and increased the motivation and the safety knowledge of the employees.

At GEODIS, Safety always come firstWith this approach, since the safety measures come directly from the employees, it tends to be easier to convince them to put them into practice. The overall benefits of implementing a BBS approach in a warehouse are strengthening the safety culture, preventing workplace accidents, reducing frequency rates and severity of accidents, reinforcing leadership and developing skills, promoting quality of the workplace and productivity, and improving performance and profitability.

At GEODIS, safety always comes first.



[1] Western Europe, Middle East & Africa

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