On Monday 8th June, Grahame Robb Associates hosted our first health and safety focused workshop - ‘Safety Culture – The Science of Behaviour Change’. The event, held at DeVere Venues' Wokefield Park, explored how to improve health and safety by first focusing on the behaviours which define the culture of an organisation.

Grahame Robb, Managing Director of GRA, opened the event by presenting the Cultural Operating System; the set of unwritten rules which define the behaviour of employees rather than the processes, procedures, systems and structures put in place by the organisation. The Cultural Operating System indicates that the ability to influence positive behaviour change is crucial to change initiatives. But how do we achieve this?

GRA train organisations in the Influencer model which focuses on the crucial moments where these vital behaviours occur and outlines a six source model, that when utilised effectively, increases the likelihood of changing behaviours tenfold.

If an organisation has a culture of silence or a lack of accountability, it can be detrimental to reducing accident rates and the success of culture change initiatives. Sharon Rush, a Master Trainer in Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability, outlined the skills framework we offer that enables individuals to speak up effectively and hold others accountable without creating confrontation.

Mike Wilcock, Head of Operations South East for the Health and Safety Executive, delivered the keynote speech 'Health and Safety - Why Bother?' an evidence-based presentation which outlined the significance of focusing on organisational culture and providing individuals with the skills to take accountability for safety performance.

In his speech, Mike outlined that the performance of an organisation's technology and safety management systems have little or no correlation between predicted and observed accident rates. However, his research has led him to conclude that "safety culture has a 74% correlation between predicted accident rates and observed accident rates."

Mike also highlighted that the health and safety culture within 60-70% of organisations is "management-led" with many employees disengaged from the health and safety performance of the organisation. He referenced risk assessment procedures as an excellent example of where organisations go wrong. Mike said, "All too often, a risk assessment is just a piece of paper to fill out because you're supposed to. It can actually have a big impact on the culture when drafted by employees across the business. If they engage with the process and have an input, it starts to mean something in terms of safety performance.”

The interactive workshop was well-attended with delegates from a range of industries including: manufacturing, oil and gas, logistics, healthcare, emergency services and technology; all with a focus on health and safety.

Grahame Robb Associates are the exclusive UK and Republic of Ireland licensee for the VitalSmarts suite of culture and behaviour change programmes: Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer and Change Anything.

For more information about the programmes or for further information about Safety Culture – The Science of Behaviour Change, please contact enquiries@gra.uk.com or call 01962 779911.

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