improving safety performance: creating a safety culture

improving safety performance: creating a safety culture

from safety policies to creating a safety culture

At a global engineering and project management firm, tackling safety in a new and innovative way was critical. Senior leaders wanted to change the mindset of safety: from compliance-oriented, to an interdependent safety culture:

  • Supervisors are empowered to improve safety in their job sites, and
  • Employees have greater awareness of safety concerns, and want to change their own behaviour

An innovative safety training program, which focused on building supervisor leadership skills, as well as leveraged behaviour science to support change on the job, led to a significant increase in safety awareness and contributed to a 200% improvement in safety performance.


The client is a leading global engineering and project management company, with more than 50,000 employees working in operations in more than 150 countries.

Project details

the challenge

Their concern for safety stemmed from acknowledgement that many remote projects had subcontracted supervisors, who didn’t necessarily feel ownership for safety on their sites.

The leadership team wanted to shift the mindset of supervisors to stronger leadership overall, combined with an understanding of their ability to influence greater safety on their job sites.

the process

Supervisors participated in 5 facilitated training sessions over a 6-month period, and were given materials they could share back with their teams. Topics included defining a safety culture, supervisor skills to influence on-the-job behaviour change, as well as understanding safety leadership. Supervisors also learned practical tools and strategies to identify, understand, and change behaviours on the job site to improve the culture of safety.

In between their monthly training sessions, the Habit Builder technology provided a process for team members to define a skill or mindset shift and make improvements via technology “nudges” to rate their progress and create journal entries.

the outcomes

After 5 months of conversations and taking action towards implementing changes, the client reports an aggregated safety performance improvement of 200%, calculated by various lagging indicators, including TRIF (total reported injury frequency) and LTIF (lost time injury frequency), as measured by safety audits and incidence reports. At one specific job site, the performance improvement was closer to 300% in the same timeframe.

Participants reported now being able to identify and implement changes to how they addressed safety concerns; and 56% of participants reported new safety habits were integrated into their work. Overall, the program was hugely successful, and plans are underway to expand it to multiple countries.

Client Feedback
  • “People are more aware of my safety commitments and act accordingly around me. I feel they respect safety much more.”

    Site Safety Supervisor – Global Engineering Firm

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