The STOPThink! Journey

“As an industry, we are still harming too many people. Fact.
I often refer to the Albert Einstein quote about the definition of Insanity; “doing the same thing over & over again expecting different results”

So back in 2012, at Osborne, we stopped, we thought and we acted………………STOPThink! was born and we embarked on a journey.

We often hear that achieving zero harm is an enormous industry challenge. And it is. But we have to strive for that.

Legislation, process compliance and audit are statistically proven to not be enough! Why? Because the underlying behaviours that drive people to make bad decisions, cut corners and work unsafely are not addressed.

We also recognised that safe working and project success go hand in hand, so in 2012 a group of Osborne future leaders took on the challenge of driving down our AFR, making Osborne more profitable and strengthening our Customer relationships. The result was a cultural change programme ‘STOPThink!’ which whilst it isn’t unique to the industry, the way it has been implemented is. With over 800 of our Customers, Suppliers and Employees having gone through the programme we have reaped the benefits with a two year period of all time low AFR. Two of our customers, Network Rail and Highways England have recognised the success and are rolling the programme out across their businesses.

The programme exploits the intrinsic link. If our people ‘think differently’, and ‘make better decisions’ they will stay safe and improve their performance. The overall context links to our aim to be industry innovators and deliver better solutions beyond the physical projects.

If we were not to have travelled through this STOPThink! journey the results would have been very different! We would not have such a diverse workforce of employees, supply chain partners and customers who better understand the underlying behaviours that influence their actions and those of their colleagues. With this knowledge and understanding they are skilled to influence behavioural change both within themselves and within their colleagues.
The programme gives them a greater understanding and respect of individual differences and how that can be used to benefit the overall team’s performance.

Other contractors have their very own equally effective cultural development programmes and they too are making great strides in improving the environment within which we all work and play. Long may it continue!”

Mick Reeves is the STOPThink! Coach at Osborne.