Protecting the Workforce—Protecting the Company
Behavioural safety is all about changing the attitudes and perceptions of your workforce and usually comes after lots of time, effort and energy has been put into reducing lost time, accidents and incidents, or because the performance that you see everyday does not match the reports you get back.
Sphere RHSM specializes in this face to face management scheme with many years of experience and with lots of positive examples. Clear diagnosis of your organizations key safety factors, along with positive reinforcement actions and training, play a key role in changing your workforces mindset, attitude and safety action. A safety focused company will make dramatic cost savings along with increased workplace output if the scheme is well defined and managed from the outset.
A major part of behavioural safety is clear management commitment, this being clearly communicated to your staff. It is impossible to change the behaviour of your staff without this commitment and you cannot establish a safety culture within your workplace without it.
A manufacturing company (turnover £21 million) was having a high lost time record, over 255 days lost per year from a workforce of around 110 employees. The manufacturer made pallets, some by hand, some by machine. The company also was experiencing on average 2 (RIDDOR) reportable accidents per month. The company had a good safety base, but no real experience of changing the attitudes or perceptions of its workforce.
The action plan agreed with Senior Management to reverse this high lost time trend was:
- Appoint a safety champion
- Audit the workplace (including your staffs perception on safety management)
- Appoint a safety team
- Elect safety reps for the shop floor
- Start monthly safety committee meetings
- Identify health and safety training for the various teams
- Start a culture change process
- Monitor and report back each month on the culture change process
- Tackle workplace attitude and perceptions—risk assessment, safety tours, & advice
- Identify high risk actions and attitudes
- Annual report to establish continual improvement
This action plan was key for this company in changing its culture, the proof is that within 18 months the lost time accidents had reduced to 21 days lost and 1 (RIDDOR) reportable. Over the next 12 months the company further reduced its lost time to 18 days and no reportable accidents.
The insurers were kept informed of this process with regular three monthly reports being provided by Sphere RHSM and this saw an insurance freeze in year two. (Sphere RHSM was engaged on a three year contract for this project)
The End Result:
Behavioural safety is about people, their attitude and knowledge. Sometimes an employee, with all the best will in the world, will take actions which he deems will expedite the task quickly, but does not understand its implications on the workforce or the company—Sphere RHSM will get this individual to change his thought process to be aware of the safety implications, to protect himself, his colleagues and the company.