RSK Safety Fortnight: The Human Factor

Health, Safety and Wellbeing November 27, 2020

RSK has been holding its annual safety fortnight for the last four years. The initiative, driven by the RSK Safety Council, aims to reduce the number of health and safety incidents and to stimulate improvements in our safety arrangements, behaviour and organisational culture. But why is it so important?

“Maintaining an unwavering commitment to health and safety is one of our nine business principles,” comments RSK SHEQ Director Ross Chattaway. “Safety is incorporated into our daily routines, but it is important to dedicate time to improving safety performance. The initiative spans a fortnight to allow every business unit to do something at a time and a place that works for them. We want to get as many employees to participate as possible.”

The theme for 2020 was The Human Factor, with the fortnight running 9-20 November. Teams came together virtually to consider the six core human performance tools, which include self-checking, pre-job briefings, peer checks, a questioning attitude, three-way communication and adherence to procedures. The second part of the workshop invited employees to contemplate one of the five safety topics affected by human factors, which included modules on mental health and fatigue.

Safety first

Each workshop began with a safety moment from an employee: a concise talk about a specific safety topic relevant to the workplace. All RSK meetings, presentations and training events must commence with a safety moment, so that health and safety is always at the forefront of employee’s minds.

“The safety moments are a vital part of RSK’s health and safety culture,” continues Ross. “Asking employees to volunteer their own examples enhances engagement and means that the situations depicted are real, current and relevant to the peers they are presented to. The initiative brought out some excellent examples.”

The best safety moment from Safety Fortnight will be awarded with a prize. The judges are still deliberating, but we will have more news to share on the winner soon.

“A positive health and safety culture is about instilling the right behaviours, so that they become par for the course,” concludes Ross. “If Safety Fortnight has raised awareness of those topics discussed then it has been a success; consistent reminders and initiatives that engage all employees can really help to make health and safety best practice second nature”.