In 2015 Amey’s Consulting and Rail business unit kick started a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Leeds Beckett University, entitled ‘SafetySmart’. This has resulted in an innovative new toolkit for gathering non-traditional safety metrics which in turn will drive Amey’s ‘Target Zero’ ambitions. Find out whether there’s lessons for your organisation.
Amey’s ‘SafetySmart’ project, in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University, has led to the creation of its new ‘ThinkSafe’ Toolkit. The Toolkit will give Amey all the resources and support it needs to undertake large scale safety data collection and use the resulting data to improve health and safety performance. The data collected will provide high quality insight beyond traditional safety metrics, by looking into the psychological and human factor variables which influence risk.
Data collection will be run periodically but can also be implemented in response to key triggers such as close calls or incidents to gather vital safety intelligence. The Toolkit offers two separate questionnaires, gathering a range of metrics beyond traditional in-house safety indicators. The first looks at staff welfare and covers metrics such as stress, workload, job pressure and organisational commitment. The second is all about organisational priorities and gathers intelligence on issues such as safety climate, attitudes to reporting, risk propensity and production pressure.
The Toolkit provides advice on how to interpret and administer the scales, select sample sizes and run workshops to ensure successful data collection. An implementation framework will support this, ensuring the Toolkit becomes firmly embedded and is used consistently, effectively and proactively across the business. This framework will include advice and support for data collection, feedback and interpretation of results, and communication tools for disseminating key safety messages.
The Toolkit in action
An example of how the Toolkit will work is its use to provide stress level scores for individual projects and contracts. The resulting data will be used to target specific areas for improvement, and design suitable interventions to improve staff welfare and productivity. Amey has also applied the Toolkit recently in relation to a potentially serious close call. The aim is to help Amey understand more about the close call from the employees themselves, and use the toolkit results to suggest improvements. Other potential opportunities for the future of the ThinkSafe Toolkit include alternative, richer data analysis, and development of in-house training.
A word on staff involvement
A key lesson has been the central role that staff engagement plays in ensuring large-scale data collection is successful. Amey recognised this, creating project ‘champions’ within the workforce who worked with the ‘SafetySmart’ project manager to help collect the data. It was also important to ensure that Amey’s employees knew what the ‘SafetySmart’ project team would be doing with their data and why. Workshops were held across the business so that staff could meet with the project manager, hear more about the project and sign up to participate. Amey asked employees to take part voluntarily, promising their confidentiality would be protected. The aim was to encourage employees to be honest in their responses. And to ensure all staff were included, data was collected using online and paper methods.
Justin Page, Account Director at Amey who has been one of the project sponsors since its inception said:
“I have been delighted with the engagement of our frontline people to help influence the outcomes. It has been invaluable in helping us to understand the issues that we need to deal with and will contribute significantly to reducing and eliminating injuries in our workplace.”
To find out more about the ThinkSafe toolkit, contact Rajkiran Kandola at Rajkiran.Kandola@amey.co.uk