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Health & Safety


them into everyday work activities until they become normal practice. Having recognised the transient nature of the construction workforce and contracted organisations, Back to BASICS was designed to capture key people from each organisation who would embrace the concept and pass on the ethos through their daily tasks. Individual contractors were allowed the freedom to identify issues relevant to them, while tools and support were provided to them through Brookfi eld Multiplex Construction Europe coaching, coordinating and communicating to allow them to improve their own health and safety. Contractors were at the same time encouraged and enabled to work closely with each other. The hope was that, over time, the culture advocated by the initiative would become the norm on the project and within the differing organisations. Throughout the life of the initiative it


has proved that, if you get the “BASICS” (Behaviour, Accountability, Supervision, Information, Communication and Safety) right, you can implement and sustain a robust health and safety culture – contractors were brought closer together and became able to understand each others’ concerns, constraints and frustrations, meaning that as a team they grew in confi dence and formed


good working relations, allowing them to talk freely and share good practices. And the statistics also bear this out. In the fi rst fi ve months of the initiative, reported accidents dropped by 50 per cent. A rise was experienced in one month, but this was shown to be among smaller contractors who were not yet included in the initiative. The number of information exchange entries averaged about 33, with a focus shifted from supervisory- based entries to behavioural ones. The number of ‘yellow cards’ issued also increased, which the company has attributed to two things – that managers were more focused on the initiative and more consistent with their approach, and that there was a greater scrutiny on supervisors’ actions. There are many, many more examples of best practice, great initiatives and the wonderful health and safety individuals that design and implement them, that arise each and every year at the RoSPA Awards. It is heartening to see so many people across all industries taking the subject seriously and leading from the front. And, because there is undoubtedly more that we can do, it is these that the rest of the working world should turn to in trying to further drive down the number of at-work accidents that are unfortunately still present in Britain today.





Back to BASICS was designed to capture key


people from each organisation who would embrace the


concept and pass on the ethos through their daily tasks





Author information


Dr Karen McDonnell is Occupational Safety and Health Policy Adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. www.rospa.com


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