Behavioural Observation and Intervention

About Behavioural Observation and Intervention
Learn about behavioural observation and intervention, its approach and implementation.

Definition: Behavioural Observation and Intervention

Behavioural observation and intervention (BO&I) is a safety initiative to:

  • Promote safe work practices; and
  • Instil a sense of safety ownership in all workers.

BO&I reduces WSH incidents and injuries. It also improves organisational WSH performance. 


The BO&I Approach

BO&I complements the organisational risk management and/or WSH management system (WSHMS) to minimise the occurrence of hazardous situations by focusing on at-risk behaviours.

As shown in the injury pyramid below, it is possible for hazardous situations to continue to arise due to WSHMS failures (e.g. poor WSHMS implementation), unsafe workplace conditions (e.g. incomplete risk assessment) and/or at-risk behaviours.

Diagram: Modified injury pyramid based on Heinrich’s Accident Triangle1.


Implementing BO&I

The BO&I approach can be summarised in the methodology below:




  • Identify safety coaches (observers).
  • Develop behaviour observation checklist.
  • Conduct observation using the checklist.


  • Recognise safe behaviour.
  • Intervene at at-risk behaviour.
  • Offer constructive feedback.


  • Record the at-risk behaviour (no names).
  • Inform management.
  • Management follow-up.


  • Repeat the observation.
  • Determine if the at-risk behaviour persists.
  • Assess if the follow-up has been effective.


Refer to the WSH Guide to Behavioural Observation and Intervention (PDF) to learn more about BO&I implementation. 


For More Information

1Heinrich’s Accident Triangle showed that, of 330 workplace accidents, 1 would lead to a major injury, 29 would lead to minor injuries, and 300 would be due to at-risk behaviours.