Monday 30th November saw the return of our health and safety workshop ‘Safety Culture – The Science of Behaviour Change’ for the second time in 2015. The pilot, held in June, received excellent feedback which prompted us to host the event a second time to equal success.

Grahame Robb, Managing Director of GRA, kicked off proceedings by introducing the Cultural Operating System. During the interactive talk, Grahame outlined that when organisations attempt to improve health and safety performance, many will focus on internal processes, procedures and structures to drive change; without considering what new behaviours they expect this to create. He went on to introduce the four critical viruses that can negatively impact an organisation’s culture and the antidotes to these viruses.

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 employees 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.

We describe this as a culture of cynicism, whereby employees do not live the company values. Grahame returned to the stage to discuss how to overcome this challenge by introducing the Influencer™ model.

To close the morning, GRA’s Joe Mackintosh, a Master Trainer in Crucial Conversations, delivered a 1-hour session on the Crucial Skills for High Stakes Conversations. Joe focused on the stories we tell ourselves about other people and how this affects our motives when entering into a difficult conversation or, equally, why we may choose to avoid the conversation altogether.

After lunch, the group went through a live case study, ‘Eileen’s Story’. Our guest speaker, Eileen, described the ordeal her family went through following her husband’s accident in 2011 and outlined the many instances where the organisation could have prevented it from happening. The group were then tasked with developing a strategy for preventing similar incidents from happening in future utilising the Influencer model.

Due to the feedback we have received across the two Safety Culture workshops, we are hosting a two-day Influencer training programme for health and safety professionals on January 26th & 27th at our Corporate Outdoor Learning Centre, Reading. For more information or to book a place on the programme, please contact enquiries@gra.uk.com or call 01962 779911.

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