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Safety Case Studies
Behavioural-based accident prevention process implemented at Cerrejón


Conducting behavioural observations is an integral element of Cerrejón's accident prevention process

In 1996, a behavioural-based accident prevention process was introduced at the Cerrejón coal operation (BHP Billiton 33.3%ownership) in north-east Colombia, South America. Implementation across all operational areas was completed in 1999. Since its introduction, the process has been undergoing continual improvement to improve safety performance.

Behavioural-Based Accident Prevention Process
The main objective of the behavioural-based accident prevention process (known locally by its Spanish abbreviation as thePPABC) is to change, in a systematic and progressive manner, employee at-risk behaviour into safe behaviour and to continually improve safety performance. Employee participation is the fundamental driver of the process; our employees own and coordinate its implementation and day-to-day activities, with the support of supervisors and management. The process begins with the identification of criticalbehaviours (those that have the greatest probability of causing incidents) through a survey conducted by line employees. Afterwards, these employees work out the best solution to prevent and control the critical behaviours identified. Then they initiate 'peer-to-peer' observations to collect data about the quantity and frequency of safe and at-risk behaviours and provide feedback to colleaguesabout their behaviour. Finally, employees conduct statistical analyses of the data collected to develop and implement continuous improvement plans and activities. To facilitate implementation of the PPABC, which required site-wide participation, a training program was developed and put in place for the 3000 employees and supervisors working at Cerrejón at the time. Each person attended trainingsessions of at least 12 hours on the fundamentals of the process and its observation aspects. To achieve this, a 'train-the-trainer' program was conducted, with some employees in every operational unit gaining qualification as PPABC trainers. Additionally, in 2004, refresher training on PPABC fundamentals and observations was conducted for the employees, and there are plans to repeat this in 2006/07.Currently, on a daily basis, every operational unit conducts planned observations and, monthly, the leaders of each area meet to analyse the results and develop action plans for the improvement of safety performance.

Monthly feedback review meeting

BHP Billiton Sustainability Report 2005


Results since Implementation
Implementating the process was managed with the support of theSafety Department and the leadership of line department managers and superintendents. All operational areas have shown an improvement in effectiveness in the prevention of incidents, breaking all the barriers that are characteristic of processes that require behaviour changes in people. Achievements, improvements and initiatives since implementation of the PPABC include: the progressive andsystematic reduction of accidents active employee participation in PPABC training, peer observations, data analyses and other related activities an improved safety culture among line employees monthly statistical analysis and follow-up of the level of safe behaviours in each operational area (see graphs below) improvement in physical conditions at worksites (see table below).

Examples of MonthlyStatistical Analysis of the Level of Safe Behaviours in Each Operational Area at Cerrejón

BHP Billiton Sustainability Report 2005


Examples of Worksite Condition Improvement in Cerrejón's Maintenance Department
Risk Conduct
Working around oil spillage areas Use of truck air filters as work benches Working on a bench with holes on the top Working in a rush to avoid excessive exposure to the...
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