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Behavioural Safety Programme

Many organisations are hitting safety performance plateaus; preventable incidents continue to happen despite continued emphasis on the technical and procedural aspects of safety.

The financial, legal and moral implications of incidents continue to affect business at many levels from reputation to bottom line and, in particular, insurance and claims costs.

What is a Behavioural Safety Programme?

A Behavioural Safety Programme focuses on root causes and connected areas, such as production technique/ costs, innovation, morale and employee engagement, to reduce the number of incidents. It provides methods for employers to take a strong, proactive stance on the positive reinforcement of behaviours that will ensure their employee’s safety. It is crucial that organisations account for and take action in respect of their organisational culture; as it both directly and indirectly influences safety performance.

What are the benefits?

Industry research has found that more than 40% of senior financial executives believe that increased productivity is the main benefit of an effective workplace safety program, with more than 60% reporting that each £1 invested in injury prevention returns between £2 and £61.

A Behavioural Safety Programme has the potential to add value across the whole organisation through:

  • Reductions in “at risk” situations, accident rates and employee absence due to work place injury
  • Reduced financial and time costs associated with compensation claims
  • Lower insurance premium spend as a result of fewer accidents and improved claims performance
  • Removal of barriers to encourage safe behaviours and improve attitudes towards health and safety
  • Improved company image with internal (employees and Board members) and external (members of the public) parties
  • Ensuring HR policies and procedures, such as incentive schemes, are designed to promote safe working practices rather than encouraging employees totake shortcuts
  • Improving employee engagement in relation to safe working practices through feedback on current systems and processes

Contact us:

For further details please contact your local Willis Towers Watson office.

Behavioural Safety Programme factsheet:


Case study:

A global engineering firm wanted to expand its employee health and safety initiatives, with the aim of reducing accident rates by 80% over five years.

Despite employees having the right safety training, tools and protective equipment, they still took unnecessary risks. This posed a particular challenge as employees often worked alone and/or off site, which prohibited effective monitoring and supervision.

Willis Towers Watson proposed a safety survey, part of an overall Behavioural Safety Programme, to enhance existing risk management activities. Characteristics of the survey included:
  • Universal application to employees across the globe
  • Specific examination of health and safety aspects where research has shown to have a strong correlation with exemplary safety performance
  • Administered to employees in their local language

Survey data analysis provided an overall performance metric, which allowed the direct comparison between countries and business units. Comparisons were also made against proprietary safety culture data consisting of over 300,000 global employees.

This analysis helped the firm identify areas to focus their safety culture improvements, providing direction and clarity as to how best to achieve goals and maximise return on investment.