“Be Safe by Choice with VGC” has a positive impact

In 2012 VGC launched its own behaviour based safety (BBS) programme called ‘Be Safe by Choice’.

WS Atkins Training was engaged by VGC to assist in the development and delivery of the programme which raises awareness of how behaviour and attitudes can play an important part in reducing accidents and incidents in the work place.

The first step of the programme was for all directors and senior staff to attend Be Safe by Choice leadership training to appreciate and develop the skills required in recognising different types of behaviour.

The second step focused on training key influencers within the operating businesses. The people concerned attended a three-day training course designed to equip them with the skills to observe, engage and coach people, even in the most challenging circumstances, on site and in the office.

Awareness is promoted and maintained by a regular and targeted programme of briefings to all staff.

The initiative has already had a positive impact on safety. For example, since the introduction of the programme there has been a fourfold increase in the number of near miss reports received. As a result, there have been improvements to site lighting, site housekeeping and PPE plus additional control measures to prevent potential accidents and incidents occurring.

A good example of the latter was the setting up of a ‘working with plant’ review team which produced an improved process for the separation of people and plant that has now been mandated on all VGC sites.

Be Safe By Choice also encourages meaningful engagement with personnel by directors, managers and supervisors during their site safety tours and inspections. Where good attitudes, behaviour and practice are observed, it is rewarded. Conversely, where poor attitudes, behaviour or practice is observed, the relevant people are coached accordingly.

Commenting on the progress to date, Terry Dutton Wells, VGC’s HSQE Director, said: “This programme is about improved engagement with our people, working to understand why risks are taken and ensuring we have a team that wants to operate safely”.

If you would like to know more about Be Safe by Choice or would like to become involved in the programme, please contact the HSQE Team on 01895 671 890.