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HEALTH & SAFETY


SAFETY LEADERSHIP AMONG PRODUCERS


In the first instance, producers must clearly communicate their own organisation’s values and the standards of behaviour they expect of all those working on site. Chris “with our next project we’re going to start with a seminar for all key contractors in which our values and expectations will be communicated and contractors will be encouraged to share their experience and best practice. Contractors will establish priorities for running a safe site and the relationships developed will provide a sound foundation for the way they communicate through the project.”


Client organisations, like ScottishPower Renewables, are also addressing the skills gap by delivering cultural safety programmes for managers and supervisors. For example, the company is developing a programme that addresses the legal requirements, as well as the behaviours the organisation expects their managers and supervisors to adopt, particularly in relation to incident investigation.


Furthermore, before a manager or supervisor takes up their role on a new project they will attend a two day course introducing them to ScottishPower Renewables’ safety culture. Those attending will often come from different contractor companies – this will help develop understanding and communication between the participating groups, ensuring a more effective working relationship on site.


At the end of the day, the client organisation has the authority to enforce compliance with its own safety standards. However, as Chris explains, “rather than getting to a crisis point where the client wants to withdraw support from a contractor, we want to identify and sort out problems in advance so the project starts on a good footing.”


CONCLUSION


Given the complex nature of wind farm construction sites, it is critical that client and contractor organisations get it right on safety. As we have seen, the key challenge is in making sure the different contractors on site communicate effectively and operate a consistent standard of behaviour.


To address this situation, client organisations like ScottishPower Renewables recognise that they need a hands-on approach, particularly during the early stages of the project, by providing greater resource and support. Their objective is to create the right safety culture by encouraging transparency and challenge between all parties involved on site. This approach to safety leadership is consistent with that taken by forward thinking contractors like Global Construction. Our next article presents a case study to show what Global Construction is doing to create such a culture among its own staff.


AUTHOR BACKGROUND


Esther Walker, Co-founder and Director of Forum Interactive. Dr Esther Walker is a social scientist, facilitator and gestalt therapist. She specializes in the influence of work culture on the way individuals think and behave and the interventions which support safe and healthy work practices.


Forum Interactive www.foruminteractive.co.uk


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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