5 Short interviews with Professor Scott Geller – Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) Pioneer

I am sure folks in the Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) world have heard of Scott. After all, he is the pioneer of the BBS concept.

[Pioneer (verb) = to be one of the first people to do something]

World class experts Dr Tim Marsh and Dr Dominic Cooper both referenced Scott during my interviews with them. This just shows Scott’s reach and influence in the Behavioural Sciences discipline. 

What is BBS?

If you are not familiar with Behaviour Based Safety (BBS), a quick search on the internet will give you a lot of information.  For simplicity, let’s just say that BBS:

  • Provides visibility and control over a key upstream indicator of safety performance, which is safe and at-risk behaviours.
  • Uses simple but effective observation techniques.
  • Is NOT about blaming the workers.
  • Is about coworkers observing each other, identifying occurrences of safe and at-risk behaviours.  Which is followed up with the observer giving constructive (one-on-one) feedback to reinforce safe work behaviours.
  • Is about discussing alternatives for any observed at-risk behaviours.

[REF: Safety Performance Solutions]

The above is just a summary and it’s a fairly deep subject as you can imagine.

Check out Scott’s TEDx Talk, which has had over 8M Views

About the 5 short interviews (shows)

The Structure of the shows are as follows:

  • SHOW 1: What is Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) and what’s the history?
  • SHOW 2: The Paradigm Shift
  • SHOW 3: Alignment
  • SHOW 4: Evolution – What’s next for BBS?
  • SHOW 5: BBS and Actively Caring for People (AC4P)

Off we go…

SHOW 1: What is BBS and What’s the History?

Duration = 27 mins (approx)

We discuss the following:

  • What is Behaviour Based Safety (BBS)?
  • Why Behaviour Based Safety (BBS)?
  • Who was involved with Behaviour Based Safety?
  • When can Behaviour Based Safety be done?
  • Where is Behaviour Based Safety applicable and relevant?
  • How can Behaviour Based Safety be carried out?

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SHOW 2: The Paradigm Shift

Duration = 15 mins (approx)

We discuss “Paradigm Shift”.

The message was lost in the sense that what Scott envisaged as the Behaviour Based Safety concept was different from how the “bigger world” interpreted and applied BBS.  What and how did this happen?

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SHOW 3: Alignment

Duration = 14 mins (approx)

We discuss “Alignment”

After the paradigm shift, there was a need for alignment, or perhaps realignment. In this interview, we discuss what needs to be done to get the wheels back on track.

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SHOW 4: Evolution – What’s next for BBS?

Duration = 19 mins (approx)

We discuss “Evolution”

It’s great that we have discussed the Shift and Alignment, but change is inevitable as we know.

In this episode, Scott and I discuss what’s next for BBS from an evolutionary angle and in Scott’s opinion. 

This interview was rather special in the sense that it was like asking a father “what do you want your child to be when it grows up”.

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SHOW 5: BBS and Actively Caring for People (AC4P)

Duration = 13 mins (approx)

Sadly, this was my last recording with Scott on the subject of Behaviour Based Safety (BBS).

We discuss Scott’s journey into Actively Caring for People (AC4P) and how this is connected to BBS.

Scott shares with us his vision regarding AC4P and what Scott wants everyone to think about when it comes to Behaviour Based Safety and that message is:

It’s not about blaming the workers…!

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Professor Scott Geller – Short Bio

The pioneer of Behaviour Based Safety (BBS), Scott  is Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Virginia Tech and Director of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems.

Scott is founder of the idea of “Actively Caring” and GoogleScholar, references Scott as a “significant figure in his field, having over 20 papers each with over 100 citations”.

Scott has numerous publications and a small selection of his recent books are listed here.

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