Be Safe by Choice
While health and safety legislation has led to a fall in the rate of accidents, we are committed to delivering all our activities as safely as possible, and we continuously work to reduce risks to the lowest possible level.
Behavioural safety training persuades people to work safely not because of ‘the rules’, but because they think about what might happen if they take risks. It also encourages them to look out for their colleagues and to share any concerns they may have.
After developing the programme with WS Atkins Training, we launched Be Safe by Choice in 2012 with training for all directors and senior staff. Then we trained a number of key influencers – people who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of safety in the workplace. Their three-day training course equips them with the skills to observe, engage and coach their colleagues, even in the most challenging circumstances. All staff are sent regular safety briefings to keep them aware of safety, and people who take safety seriously are thanked and rewarded.
Be Safe rules
Everyone must take responsibility for their own safety and for that of their colleagues. We require all staff to follow four simple rules. We believe they will allow us to reduce accidents to the lowest possible level.
- Be fit for work. (Come to work rested and alert; make sure you are trained for the job; have the right PPE for the task; declare any medical conditions which may affect your work.)
- Get a brief before you start work. (Make sure you understand what you are going to do and how; have the right tools and permit; ask if you are not sure about anything.)
- Report all unsafe acts and conditions. (However big or small it is, report any act or condition that you think is unsafe (or could be better); put it right if you can; tell your supervisor so we can learn from it.)
- Stop work if anything changes. (Stop work if something changes from the plan; make sure the change has been reassessed before you start again.)
What we expect from everyone at VGC
Our HSQE induction booklet (pdf) explains what we expect of all VGC Group employees and contractors to keep themselves and their colleagues safe, and make sure everyone goes home safely at the end of each shift.
Be Safe by Choice has had a very positive impact on safety, as well as on staff morale. Close call and near miss reports have risen dramatically, allowing us to take action against potential accidents. For example, we have improved site lighting, site housekeeping and personal protective equipment (PPE). A ‘working with plant’ review team worked out a new process to separate people from plant, which we now use on all VGC sites. And we are winning an increasing number of safety awards.
There is a useful pdf on behaviour based safety on the Health and Safety Authority website.