Behavioural Safety. How safe are your employees?

02 October 2018

Behavioural Safety… are your employees as safe as they could be?

Why is it easy to say safety comes first, but actually so difficult to do well?

Traditionally large organisations manage safety through two approaches

1. Making Equipment Safe, by removing risks, installing guards and interlocking controls.

2. Making Employees Safe, by Personal Protective Equipment and Safe Systems of Work.

These are necessary areas to devote resources but only focusing on these activities is not enough to create the successful, robust work environment we would like.

Many organisations are frustrated by the size and complexity of their safety programmes which rarely deliver what they want.

Do we need more resource or should we think of Employee Safety differently?

We accept that a Lone Worker is a potential risk, as there is no-one else to look out for them. On that basis the more people an organisation employs the better safety performance should be, but is it?! Actually, a major part of any safety programme in any organisation is to involve employees to THINK differently and not accept structure such as guards and safety glasses only to change the thinking.

Do we focus more on the tangible task based safety systems and less on the employee involvement?

What if we could create a culture within our businesses which:

a. Reduces incidents and accidents to employees

b. Creates an environment of Safety Improvement instead of reacting to events.

c. Creates a system which improves unsafe conditions and unsafe behaviours

d. Creates a learning environment where employees share and support each other.

The traditional approach includes essential elements for Safety improvement but omits the key element of business culture.

The diagram above demonstrates our unique approach to Organisational Development. All our programmes are designed to achieve business results (in this case Safety), in a sustainable way by changing the culture through building the appropriate infrastructure (Tools and Techniques and Methods and Systems) and the workforce’s capability (Knowledge, Skills and Attitude).

Systems Thinking is Key…both “hard” and “soft” systems

Systems, methods and procedures are at the heart of improvement and drive behaviour (good and bad) so businesses need to ensure that appropriate systems are in place and safety performance doesn’t rely on constantly chasing people to behave correctly. It all starts with ensuring that the right people are thinking differently to then improve the work systems. Only 5% of accidents are caused by rogue behaviour. The diagram below is a simple sketch to remind us of this.

Combined with the focus on “safe conditions” employees also need to understand they are in a culture that is driven by the way the majority of employees at all levels currently think. That current thinking is called their “paradigm”, their view of the world. When this paradigm is shifted, behaviour changes.

The NewLeaf Customised Behavioural Safety Programmes does all of this and more. The programmes…

· Build the capability of the Teams and Leaders with regard to their understanding, thinking and responsibilities for Business Safety.

· Integrate into existing client programmes.

· Continuously reviews and improves Safety behaviour and culture in a supportive and engaging way.

· Recognises success and achievements to further enhance performance.

Contact us for a chat…..

If you feel that your Safety programme would benefit from a renewed focus on results through a change of approach and culture, please contact us.

Tel: 01905 425209 Email:

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