The Buddy System can be defined as a work method that intends to increase the level of safety and efficiency of workers on the job.
In this case, buddies, those comprising a group (at least consisting of a couple), monitor each other’s behaviour during the execution of a task or a specific job (it can be at the same time or a person who acts as an observer as the partner is carrying out one or several actions).
This system has been implemented in many sectors, for example, in the military, sports, personal training… It is specially designed for jobs that a failure in the working procedure can lead to a serious threat to the safety of members or third parties.
In the world of labour, we can find this in high-risk activities, for example, confined work. A recent example can be recalled concerning this work system, found in the health sector, by means of workers who are exposed to a highly contaminating virus.
We have included a video of the Parkland Memorial Hospital (Dallas, USA), where we can clearly see that when removing Personal Protective Equipment the collaboration of two workers is needed:
We must define the procedures for all members and it is also essential that they perfectly know these procedures. This will require carrying out some previous training. In some companies it is used specifically to train new staff additions, first observing the application of the process by an experienced partner and secondly being observed while applying. Despite the training, the task must be observed at all times to prevent a possible error in execution.
Integrating work processes more quickly: We learn faster when someone detects a mistake and corrects it immediately (additionally, no one likes to hear how to do “something”, which is why you want to make sure the process is done “well”).
Increased efficiency of workers: A high percentage of errors in the process is achieved.
Improved communication: Collaboration between buddies is essential. It can also strengthen group relationships, improving the work environment and employee commitment.
Increased safety: As we have seen in the video above, there are processes that require constant monitoring of hazardous tasks or even the cooperation of several people.
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