Everyone home safe every day
A cultural transformation
Thameslink Programme has been a major contributor to Network Rail’s strategic objective of providing a safer, more reliable railway through delivering enhancements to the network that increase its capacity and capability. The vision and objective were simple: to send everyone home safe every day.
Implementing the vision and objective required a cultural transformation. As the outset the dominant culture towards safety was benchmarked, and management systems put in place to eliminate injuries through a systematic approach to cultural improvement. The changes in culture were supported by a comprehensive assurance programme that ensured all Thameslink Programme construction projects were designed, planned, operated and handed over in a way that considered the importance of Health and Safety at all stages.
Besides the obvious benefits of this approach to the workforce, additional benefits to working safer included:
- Less service disruption for the travelling public, through fewer accidents or damage caused by construction
- Less risks to the travelling public, through fewer construction errors or mistakes due to more alert workers
- A healthy and safe workforce for train operating companies, who can operate their timetables as published through works being completed to timescale and possessions handed back on time.
Engaging the workforce
Communication and engagement at all levels of Thameslink Programme and project teams were recognised as being critical to achieving the stated Health & Safety aim of getting everyone home safe every day. Key assurance tactics and initiatives included Hi Viz, Time2Talk and roadshows:
- Hi-Viz was a quarterly freesheet newspaper aimed towards the construction workforce, managers and visitors to sites.
- Time2Talk built upon Network Rail’s Safety Conversations as a way of encouraging managers to engage with their workforce about Health & Safety.
- Roadshows and conferences gave Thameslink Programme leaders the opportunity to set the tone for the workforce’s approach towards Health & Safety.
The location of each roadshow was chosen to suit the audience and create a safe, comfortable environment for those attending. Content was designed to be interactive and thought-provoking, with the aim that everyone in attendance would take something away with them back to their respective area of work.