Predicting Safe Behaviors in the Workplace

Is it really possible to gauge how someone will adapt to the safety standards of your workplace?

The focus on safety in all industrial mining operations has been the #1 priority for years. Making sure everyone is safe, and minimizing the risk of injury or death, is an issue that runs deep through all mining organizations.

But what’s the best way to understand a candidate’s mindset with regard to safety? Is it possible for a potential employee to be assessed in order to identify those who are likely to impact safety standards?

“Yes” says Nathan Sharpe, Brunel's Executive General Manager - Client Solutions. Brunel was originally tasked with developing an assessment tool to profile safety behavioral tendencies.  The profiling assessment tool that was developed was deemed so  successful that Brunel has created a version for general use. Sharpe now offers the Brunel Safety Assessment Tool (BSAT) to all his clients, adding even more value to Brunel’s recruitment processes. “The BSAT is currently designed for blue collar operations in high risk environments,” says Sharpe, “but it can be tailored to suit most other skill categories”.

The BSAT examines six key areas that drive safe behaviors.  An online assessment challenges the individual in each of the key areas: understanding of safety principles, situational awareness, procedural compliance, personal accountability, safety mindset and resilience. The Brunel tool developers drew on data collated from safety studies and industry research to identify measures of each aspects. The assessment takes place online, and asks a series of questions to assess each individual’s attitude and likely actions in a range of situations. The resulting scores are a measure of an individual’s attitudes, tendencies and grasp of safety principles that may not be apparent in their work history or interview.

How does the BSAT add value? 

Sharpe recommends that all candidates are asked to complete the BSAT during the first screening process.

“A poor result might preclude them from being submitted,” notes Sharpe, “or – as in many cases – the result guides the management of that person for better performance”.  For example, if a person demonstrates a low score in resilience, their supervisor knows to manage them closely when that person is in stressful situations.

Do clients see the value? “Absolutely. It gives hiring managers confidence that they are hiring, getting safety-conscious people, plus it gives supervisors guidance on managing them effectively”. Sharpe has been delighted by how clients have embraced BSAT as part of the recruitment process. “The test results are presented to the client along with the CV for each candidate. A short summary explains the results and suggests best management tactics for the individual”.

The evidence?

Studies have tracked and measured safety outcomes for clients who have used the BSAT tool.  There’s no doubt that the BSAT safety assessment has contributed to improved workplace outcomes. When asked for evidence Sharpe presented these statistics from completed studies:

 - Brunel candidates experienced 51% less workplace injuries

 - Brunel candidates improved safety culture by reporting 71% more near-misses

 - Brunel candidates identified and reported 6x more workplace hazards

 - Reduced workplace injury rates by 44% within 12 months of introduction of BSAT

 - Reduced direct injury costs by over $500,000 within 12 months of introduction

By every measure (personnel safety, fewer incidents, less downtime, and reduced cost to business) BSAT is having a real impact. “Adding BSAT early in the recruitment process prioritizes safety in the minds of all our candidates, whether they get the job or not,” says Sharpe, “it tells everyone that safety is something Brunel really cares about. We’ll go the extra mile to embed that focus into everything we do”.

The key benefit for Brunel’s clients using BSAT is that safe behaviors are reinforced for everyone in the mining industry. For Brunel, BSAT supports Sharpe’s mission to deliver smarter recruiting that reduces risk and builds better teams.



Adding BSAT early in the recruitment process prioritizes safety in the minds of all our candidates, whether they get the job or not.

Nathan Sharpe, Executive General Manager - Client Solutions Brunel

The BSAT screens for key safety behaviors

You don't need to guess when you can access

Understanding of Safety Principles: What is the individual’s understanding of safety principles? And can that understanding be applied in new situations?

Situational Awareness: Can the individual observe and note safety hazards in their environment?

Procedural Compliance: To what extent does an individual interpret, and then adhere to, the rules governing safety?

Personal Accountability: Does the individual own or shirk responsibility for targets and expectations with regard to safety goals?

Safety Mindset: Does the individual accept personal responsibility for their own safety and that of the people around them?

Resilience: Will the individual learn from mistakes and recover from setbacks?