Safety isn’t Just What You Learn, it’s What You Do

Effective and regularly updated training, processes and compliance measures may be the foundation of good Health, Safety and Environmental practice, but it is behaviour and leadership that ultimately deliver exceptional performance.

Sometimes safety comes down to individual decisions and choices. These may have to be made under challenging circumstances. When the culture is right, everybody understands that it is never acceptable to act in a way that places people or the environment at risk, even under the most severe cost or time pressure.

This positive culture comes from strong leadership and continuous reinforcement of the message that safety comes first. This culture supports people to ‘do the right thing’ whether or not anybody’s watching and irrespective of who is making the decisions.

Shared Responsibility

Not everyone likes to share everything they know. If it’s knowledge that gives you a commercial advantage that’s understandable. But protecting people and protecting the environment are responsibilities we all share – and we must share what we learn.

Our monthly STOP Think! Cascade bulletins are shared freely with our customers, supply chain and our competitors. If we identify a risk or safer ways of working, we make it a priority to share that learning with anyone who can benefit from it.

Better Planning

The time pressures that can compromise decision making can be better managed through work plans based on accurate and detailed asset information, and that are free from optimism bias. Early engagement of all stakeholders helps to create realistic plans. It can also identify safer ways of carrying out the work and minimise the chances of unexpected problems and hitches.

Emotional and Mental Wellbeing

Mental health is an area that has historically been given too little attention, particularly in the construction sector. Contractors should be able to demonstrate that there are effective procedures in place to identify signs of mental ill health along with effective support measures for employees with concerns.

Good emotional and mental health are essential for clear decision making. As well as being at risk themselves, people suffering from too much stress or emotional strain may also be prone to making poor decisions that could jeopardise others.

The Environment

Good environmental practice goes beyond minimising the impact of projects. It must also take in the efficient use of natural resources, energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Enhancing ecological diversity, the use of sustainable materials, noise reduction and waste minimisation are additional areas that need to be actively managed.

The Osborne approach to safety is behaviour-led. There are consistent messages, priorities and expectations and a culture of active engagement throughout our teams and supply chain. By working together we’ve achieved SHE performance levels we are rightly proud of.

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