To link and coordinate all aspects of safe and responsible workplace behaviours, a safety communications initiative at LI’s Cassel site in the UK focuses on developing new attitudes and behaviours to support existing rules rather than just trying to burden employees with new, ever more complicated procedures.

Lucite International’s Safety, Health, Security & Environmental Manager Graham Hill says: “Incident levels may be lower than ever before but, however infrequent, any harm to an employee or the environment is not acceptable in our workplace today.”

Having worked hard over recent years to perfect safety procedures and introduce sophisticated warning systems and preventive maintenance regimes to take account of equipment failures, it is clear that the human behaviour remains a potential weak link in all safety systems. Familiarity and complacency – the human element – always have the potential to compromise the way things are meant to work on paper.

“Most of us are familiar with seeing seasoned flyers appearing to ignore the compulsory safety presentations at the beginning of aircraft flights. The problem is that they’ve probably seen and heard the same safety presentation dozens of times before and they’ve effectively become deaf to the safety reminders. If an incident was to occur, that could be potentially fatal,” observes Graham.

To combat this complacency a single and impactful new communications style has been developed aimed at employees, temporary contractors and site visitors with the key messages to:

Be mindful, Be alert, Be responsible and Be safe.

The new safety messaging focuses on encouraging individual initiative to support and enhance already carefully developed systems and combat incidents resulting from complacency and over-familiarity with day-to-day procedures.

The new communications campaign includes initiatives such as:

– A reward and recognition mechanism for ‘good spots’ (that identify potential onsite safety improvements)

– A profiling competition asking friends and family to let their loved ones know how important it is for them that ‘everyone gets home safe every day’

These all raise awareness of the importance of behavioural safety.