What does excellent safety performance
In this module we are going to look at the four
stages of the Bradley Curve model so we can
explore how we, over the past few decades,
have reduced massively the number of
accidents and injuries at work and what we
need to do to achieve zero harm.
An Introduction to the Bradley Curve
To help you get started, Dr Jack will introduce you to the key concepts of
Safety = Systems + People.
Let's start with a question
What do you think excellent safety
performance at your work looks like?
Well…..all three are correct.
But what if we went even further and agreed
that excellent safety performance means no-
one being harmed through work – zero harm.
The Bradley Curve
The Reactive stage shows the response by the UK
Government to the high % of work related deaths
during the 1970s which resulted in the Health and
Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA74).
The Systematic stage saw the introduction of
better work equipment, safety systems and
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to
create safer working environments.
The Independent stage shows the investment
made in training people how to use the systems
that have been developed to do their job safely.
The Interdependent stage involves us
understanding the choices that we/others make
and how we can all make better choices –
creating a safety culture where we look out for
Why are we still having accidents?
You can see from the Bradley Curve that deaths at
work have significantly reduced. But we know that is
not good enough and we need to achieve zero harm.
So why are we still having accidents at work?
This is where the fourth stage, the Interdependent
Stage, is key!
Unsafe behaviours are often not deliberate – we don’t want to be hurt – but are the result of
choices that we have made - very often choices we are not even aware of making!
Thank you for taking part in the experiment! As you
can see, it's sometimes easy to miss the obvious.
Where in work could you be missing things in terms of
You've just learnt about the importance of the choices we (and
others) make in the workplace. Here are some examples of good
A choice to follow the safe system at work and to do the job in the
way we have been trained.
Looking out for each other, choosing to give safety reminders and
re-think the job in order to do it safer.
Safety = Systems + People
Excellent safety performance means no-one
being harmed through work and this is
achieved when the safe systems of work are
used by trained people making the right
choices: safety = systems + people!
The ABC of Behaviour
What does the word ‘behaviour’ make you think about? Does it take you back
to being at school and being told off? Well.....we think this for a good reason,
it’s because we very often manage behaviour by looking at the negative
consequences of that behaviour.
In terms of safety, this means someone has to be put at risk, or injured, before
we can begin to learn why.
In this section we are going to look at the ABC Bow Tie model to explore the
thinking which influences our behaviour, so we can make better choices in
order to achieve positive consequences.
To help you get started, Dr Jack will introduce
you to the ABC Bow Tie model.
The ABC Bow-Tie
the triggers to our
In simple terms,
everything we say or
do (or don’t say and
Our behaviour leads to Consequences: both
positive and negative.
Unsafe behaviours lead to negative consequences
•Fatalities, injuries, damage to equipment or
Safe behaviours lead to positive consequences
•Reduction in harm to people, equipment and
environment, increased efficiency, productivity and
A quick question for you
How do you behave when you see a speed
camera? What do you do?
Well…..you slow down to avoid the negative
consequences of being caught speeding – being
What do you do when you have passed the ‘speed
camera’? Be honest…..you probably go back to the
same speed you were driving before!
Using the negative consequences as a way of managing our
behaviour is only effective if we perceive the consequences as
being 'real and now' and even then rarely has a long term impact.
In order to achieve long term safe behaviour and positive
consequences we need to look at the Antecedents that influence
Antecedents are in 3 groups:
shows us that behaviour is driven by feelings and emotions
underpinned by attitude, beliefs and the result of our conditioning.
allows us to look at the strengths and weaknesses of how the mind
works including conscious and sub-conscious choices.
explores the sub-conscious choices that are present in almost all
accidents – which are alpha, habits, time versus risk and personal risk
Mind Set (The Iceberg Model)
When you look at an Iceberg all you can see is the tip – but
there's so much more you can't see that is underneath the
water. The same is true with behaviour. . . its the small part
that we can observe in people. . . but there's much more going
on below. In order to see what lies under the water we have to
do some deep sea diving!
In this Module we are going to look at the first of the
Antecedents - Mind Set; which shows how our
behaviour, everything we say or do (or don’t say and
do), is driven by feelings and emotions, attitude,
beliefs and conditioning.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we
are all creatures of Feelings and
In simple terms negative feelings will
behaviours and positive feelings
In order to encourage positive safe
ourselves and others we need to create
feeling about safety because if we feel
what we are doing we will either not do
heartedly. Now we can’t choose our
what can we choose? We can choose
respond to them.
This leads us into our Attitude; which
is our chosen response to a given
We all hold strong attitudes towards
future, other people, ourselves and the
work for. Often we will seek to justify
drawing towards us things that support
however, we can and do change our
attitudes are contagious, so a positive
us to contribute to a positive safety
work! Of course, a negative attitude
The People in Cultures Model
Positive attitude + low energy and high self-esteem =
Supporting ,i.e. ‘How can I help to make this happen?’
Negative attitude + low energy and low self-esteem =
Sleep Walking, i.e. ‘I don’t know what's going on’
Positive attitude + high energy and high self-esteem =
Playing i.e. ‘Come on let’s have a go, I know what we
Negative attitude + high energy + low self-esteem =
Sniping, i.e. ‘It will never work, I have seen this all
Negative attitude + high energy + high self-esteem =
Undermining, i.e. ‘I will make sure it never works!’
By working together and using the 4 'Rs' (respect,
recognition, responsibility and reward), we can
positively influence the attitudes of others. This will
lead to an increase in the number of workers
displaying Playing and Supporting behaviours.
Beliefs and values can be simply
defined as ‘that which we hold to be
true as an undeniable fact’.
We will behave in a manner which is
our beliefs and values, often rejecting
questions them. Behaving in a way that
inconsistent with our beliefs causes’
do not keep it up for long.
We all have limiting beliefs and values,
leading to unsafe behaviour, due to
Our Conditioning is an extremely
on behaviour created over a long
has often created barriers for us that
To permanently change our behaviour
Roger Bannister, question and re-think
conditioning to create new beliefs and
things we previously considered
achieved – for example Zero Harm!
Mind Map and Currencies
In this Module we are going to look at the two remaining
Antecedents - Mind Map and Currencies.
Mind Map shows us that our behaviour stems from the
interaction between the conscious and sub-conscious parts of
Currencies are the subconscious drivers that we need to
challenge as they are present in nearly all accidents.
Our conscious mind is only capable of focusing on a few things at once and is
excellent at judgement.
Our sub-conscious has an unlimited storage capacity - it identifies and captures
repeatedly exposed, but does not judge at all.
This results in our subconscious mind driving our routine behaviours without
good or bad, safe or unsafe, which in turn builds over time our personal
So how do we know if our subconscious safety
behaviours are the right ones?
Well…..to develop (permanent) positive safe
behaviours we must begin by challenging,
individually and collectively, the 4 subconscious
drivers we call the Currencies; Alpha, Habits, Time
versus Risk and Personal Risk Perception.
Always using our conscious minds to complete a task would require
incredible concentration. This is why our subconscious minds take
over and allow us to complete the task in a trance state.
We refer to this state as Alpha. It is estimated that we spend, on
average, 10 minutes in every hour in Alpha carrying out tasks
efficiently and competently through our subconscious.
However, this does mean that for those 10 minutes in every hour
we are not aware of potential hazards, especially those below the
knee or above eye level – often causing slips, trips and falls.
Our individual and collective awareness of Alpha provides us
provides us with the opportunity to remove potential Alpha
potential Alpha hazards and to have proactive conversations
conversations reminding each other of the potential risks.
Habits are created by repeatedly carrying out tasks in a particular way until they
become an automatic routine.
Habits allow us to carry out everyday tasks without thinking about them consciously;
they are what keep us safe when we are in Alpha. It is estimated that 21 days are
required to form a habit.
As a habit is a sub-conscious routine, it can be good or bad (remember, the sub-
conscious does not judge!). Our challenge, then, is to identify and sort our habits,
keeping the good ones and replacing the bad ones.
To replace a bad habit requires the creation of a new one, which means we must
expose ourselves to a new way of doing something – this can be uncomfortable at
first, like folding your arms the opposite way.
So…..to overwrite bad habits with new good ones, we must help and support
help and support each other by first identifying the bad habits and then
and then reinforcing good safety practices through positive peer influence –
peer influence – until they become automatic!
Time Vs Risk
We are all programmed to save time and energy. We call this the
168 Drive as there are 168 hours in a week.
The challenge is recognising that often we place far more
importance on the saving of time than on the risk of taking a short
When our perceived time pressures increase, through a tight
deadline for example, then so do the risks we are now prepared to
take. This risk taking, if repeated often enough, will then become a
We need to look out for when we or others take short cuts.
short cuts. Then we can identify the risk, make sure we are
sure we are using the correct equipment and design how the
design how the task could be made easier and safer in the
safer in the future.
Personal Risk Perception
As we now work in environments where risk has largely been
managed, this can encourage our personal risk perception to
conclude that accidents no longer happen, or if they do, they
happen to other people and not us!
Performing risk assessments in teams will encourage us to
develop a collective risk perception, reducing the personal risks
we may have been willing to take.
A low level of personal risk perception means we are
more likely to cut corners and take bigger risks in
order to save time. If this behaviour is repeated over
time it will become a Habit, resulting in us now taking
risks automatically in Alpha with no judgement of
whether we are safe or unsafe!
We call this spiral of behaviour the Currency Trap!
Understanding the Currencies provides us with a collective safety language
which can be traded in order to keep ourselves and others safe.
This relies on good communication.
We communicate through the words we use, our tone of voice and our body
language. This means we cannot fail to communicate!
The way we say things tells people what we really mean and people will
remember the things we do more than what we say.
So if we fail to approach someone working unsafely with a safety reminder, we
are reinforcing that unsafe behaviour.
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