Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Uniform process shows who’s Boss

Behavioural safety schemes are commonly aimed at construction site workers, while the safety element of design is covered by legislation such as the CDM Regulations. By Ruth Powell

Black & Veatch is extending its behavioural safety scheme to encompass designers as well as site staff. This approach may not
suit all businesses but applies to those with a large integrated workforce of design and construction professionals.

From the beginning B&V wanted to develop a behaviour-based approach to safety that was led from the top and driven by the
workforce.

It was crucial that the new scheme was not simply about reducing risk-taking on site but also included a strong focus on the behaviour of line managers.

B&V engaged John Tucker, from Advanced Risk Management Solutions to assist with Behaviours on Safe Sites, or Boss.

Boss aims to:

• encourage personnel to recognise safe and at-risk behaviours by themselves and others;

• communicate the safe behaviours that are needed and expected of everyone;

• promote safe behaviours by leading by example and through recognition and reward;

• deal with at-risk behaviours by coaching and positive discussion; and

• measure behaviours through regular observation tours.

Boss empowers everyone to adopt zero tolerance of anything that is unsafe. It has four core training requirements:

• safety leadership for senior management;

• training for supervisors including the observation of safety-critical behaviours;

• coaching and influencing skills for supervisors;

• workforce awareness training on

Boss and everyone’s role in creating safe habits. It is delivered by our volunteer trainers from the workforce.

Sustainability is key and having such a comprehensive approach to behavioural change ensures that everyone in the organisation has an important role to play – this ensures ownership and accountability.

While Boss was being launched on construction sites, B&V’s design teams expressed an interest and wanted to get involved.

A Boss for designers working group was established. It included the engineering design operations director, chief engineers, lead designers, safety professionals and engineering graduates.

The observational techniques used on our sites to encourage positive interventions and to monitor performance do not easily
translate to the design office, so the main focus on the indirect behaviours we want from our design staff.

A scorecard has been developed along with a process for monitoring compliance, which is currently being piloted. Boss for designers will be launched later this year, once the results of the pilot are received.

By bringing Boss into the design office, B&V is asking designers to identify ways in which they could indirectly influence the safety choices that are made by the operational staff.

For businesses such as B&V that have integrated design and construction teams, it is possible to ensure that the entire project team has followed a uniform process that reduces risk and enhances safety from design development through to completion.

Ruth Powell is safety and health manager for Black & Veatch Water Europe

Related Jobs