As highlighted at the CIRAS Rep events in June, behaviour within a safety system is as much as causal factor for incidents as having a safe system.

Shared learning is a key benefit of CIRAS and below you can find out how Amey have been applying behavioural safety within their organisation.

A knowledge transfer partnership with Leeds Beckett University

Amey, employs around 20,000 people across four continents designing, building and maintaining services and infrastructure and is a leading supplier to the transport industry. One of Amey’s key corporate objectives is “Keeping people safe, every day”. While Amey has an excellent safety record, the reduction of accidents and incidents has reached a plateau above zero.

Amey identified the need to implement a Behavioural Safety Strategy through a project known as a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Leeds Beckett University within their Consulting and Rail business unit, which supports both the company’s “Target Zero” campaign and the corporate strategy “Keeping people safe, everyday”.

What is the SafetySmart Project?

The project, named ‘Target Zero SafetySmart Project’ aims to develop, implement and embed a structured Behavioural Safety Strategy to reduce safety incidents whilst reducing associated costs incurred through accidents and injuries.

The project is being conducted through a KTP with Leeds Beckett University over a 33-month project plan, which includes 8 key stages. The project attempts to tackle the current accident plateau within the Consulting and Rail business unit through incorporation of human factors and behavioural/psychological methods.

A Research Associate working for Leeds Beckett University is permanently embedded within the business for the duration of the project to research predictors of accident risk, develop interventions and test the effectiveness of the interventions before wider roll out.

The SafetySmart project will support Amey in achieving their Target Zero objective.

What is unique about the SafetySmart Project?

The SafetySmart Project approach is employee-focused and ‘bottom-up’ rather than typical ‘top-down’ methods that can be limited in their success. An overall behavioural safety framework will be developed by employees, for employees, specific to Amey.

The SafetySmart Project will incorporate academia and industry leading research into the development of the interventions and will move Amey towards proactive and scientific approaches to decision making with an additional focus on long-term knowledge transfer strategy to Amey’s Consulting and Rail business.

The project will have the ability to be integrated into different teams, projects and become a fundamental methodology in its own right. The adoption of this framework, detailed understanding of accident risk and subsequent decrease in incidents will have a positive effect on cost reduction associated with accidents and incidents.

Amey Rail has implemented many enhancements to the safety of our workers such as, PPE, working environment improvements and mechanical aids; almost all these enhancements have been management led, with too little involvement from front line employees. Recent incident trends have highlighted the contribution behaviour can have on safety related incidents. This opportunity gives front line employees the ability to contribute in a positive way to improve safety and to influence behavioural change. It is a very welcome addition to aid our Target Zero campaign.” Lee Jones, Director of Rail and Metro for Amey.