Behavior-based safety management is an important part of any company because it helps eliminate risks in the production process. The food production industry is one sector that requires especially close attention to safety issues. The so-called DO IT method is useful when applied to jobs in the restaurant industry, leading to an improvement in the work behavior of employees. This method focuses on implementing suitable interventions by creating positive or negative reinforcements for the employees. The effectiveness of the method may be determined by measuring the number of safety-related problems before and after the implementation of the behavior-based safety training program. This paper describes how the DO IT method may be used by restaurant management to decrease hazards in the workplace.
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The DO IT method relies on a four-step system to help improve safety behavior at work. The first step is defining the elements of behavior that need to be corrected. Then, an observation of the work process takes place to collect information on those elements. The third step is to enforce interventions to improve the current behavior. Finally, an analysis of the interventions’ results is done to calculate their efficiency. Although it is particularly useful in the restaurant industry, this method is universal and can be applied in all types of industries.
The management of any restaurant business must pay a lot of attention to safety, because a failure to comply with basic safety regulations may lead to health issues not only among workers but among visitors as well. By applying the first step of the DO IT method, several key elements that require improvement may be identified. These factors include violations of sanitary standards and failures to comply with equipment usage instructions. More specifically, a safety management group should target such hazardous actions as cooking without gloves and leaving kitchen appliances on.
Interventions to improve the situation may be positive or negative. A positive intervention refers to something that is added to the work process. For example, an extra day off may be given to a chef if he or she consistently meets the requirements of wearing gloves during all times of direct contact with food. Negative interventions, on the other hand, are a method of reinforcement that takes away some of the elements that were present in the workplace before. In the case of fire left burning unattended, for instance, management may remove all appliances with open fire.
The key to the success of any behavior-based safety policy is the image of the senior management. According to Saujani (2016), visible leadership is crucial for “setting a goal to attain world-class performance and developing the culture needed to achieve this goal” (p. 37). Most workers follow safety rules because they will either lose their jobs or will have to pay a fine. Such negative reinforcement neither motivates employees nor creates a foundation for responsible safety actions. Instead, it is more effective for senior management to create a culture of safety inside the company and to cultivate it by making positive changes. Workers become more involved in joining management’s articulated vision when it is offered by inspirational safety leaders (Cooper, 2015, p. 50). This process also increases responsibility among workers for their safety.
The possible outcomes of safety management programs among restaurant workers depend on the interventions carried out after applying the DO IT method. Because safety responsibility is a real question of personal motivation, workers are more likely to improve their safety behavior as a result of positive interventions. In this case, the active role of management is the most important factor of behavior-based safety.
Cooper, D. (2015). Effective safety leadership. Professional Safety, 60(02), 49-53. Web.
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Saujani, M. (2016). World-class safety culture: Applying the five pillars of safety. Professional Safety, 61(2), 37-41. Web.