I am often asked what my number one priority is.
I tell them, without hesitation, that it’s to ensure that everyone on our projects goes home to their families unharmed after every working shift.
I am as passionate about achieving this as I am about the safety of my own family at home.
I firmly believe that extraordinary safety leadership can create an exceptional safety culture where zero harm can become a reality.
If we all work together, across the industry, there isn’t a single reason why we can’t achieve this.
“I believe that extraordinary safety leadership can create an exceptional safety culture where zero harm can become a reality”
Yes, we know it’s not easy, but we must set our collective standards exceptionally high and not tolerate any behaviour that falls below this. What we need, is an unwavering commitment that puts the safety of our people at the heart of our communications and our decision making.
Underpinning this is the fundamental belief that good safety performance and good business performance are interlinked; tackling any misconception of a compromise between the two.
Delivering a clear message
We have a clear message to our teams within Osborne: nothing is so important that it cannot be done safely.
We’ve empowered our people to assess their work and we continue to give them support if they want to stop any work if they are not comfortable that it will be completed safely.
Recently, one of our rail supervisors cancelled a night shift because he wasn’t comfortable that the individual appointed to manage the railway risks and establish the safe system of work, was sufficiently prepared.
The courageous decision to not put his team at risk was widely applauded across our team and I personally thanked them for taking action.
Our cultural development programme, STOPThink! underpins this.
It focuses on helping our people to make better choices; thinking differently, making better decisions, changing lives.
We have taken our customers and suppliers through the programme alongside our own people, passionately believing that we can only achieve the culture we aspire to, if we all work together.
“We have now completed over 600 days and two million hours without a RIDDOR accident”
STOPThink! was started just over a year ago and we’ve just met with our customers and supply chain leadership teams to review the progress.
At headline level, we have now completed over 600 days and two million hours without a RIDDOR accident.
In addition, we have reduced the number of people harmed on our projects by 33% in the last 12 months. These figures are clearly promising, however, it’s a journey and we can never ease up.
As we move into 2016, my priority is to continue to relentlessly strive in ensuring our people go home safe, everyday.
John Dowsett is managing director of infrastructure at Osborne