Behaviour Based Safety Programs

What are Behaviour Based Safety Programs?

Behavioural Based Safety is an approach to safety that focuses on workers' behaviour as the cause of most work-related injuries and illnesses.   These programs have been introduced in some Australian workplaces, and so we have produced a Kit for health and safety reps to provide information on what they are, what's wrong with them and what workers can do in their workplaces.

For a Union Perspective (from Nancy Lessin of the AFL-CIO, go to this Campaigns page of the site)

In May 2005, the ACTU held a Seminar, Oh Behave! looking at behavioural safety approaches to managing health and safety.  One outcome was an undertaking by the VTHC and a couple of other unions (AMWU and SPSF) to develop a kit to assist OHS reps and delegates to understand what such programs are, and the issues unions have with them. 

The kit was a draft done in 2006 - and was a work in progress. We welcome any comments and suggested changes from unions, OHS reps, delegates and workers who read it and use it. Please email comments to [email protected]  - Renata will respond to all comments.   The Kit can be downloaded as a pdf document here.


This Kit is an amalgam of the work of many trade union and other health and safety activists, both here and overseas. Thanks to all of them for their ideas, work and dedication to improving worker health and safety.  Section 5 of the Kit has a list of useful resources and places to go for further reading.

Last updated May 2015