Western Power Distribution are responsible for delivering electricity to over 7.8 million customers over an area of 55,000 square kilometres; managing a network of over 220,000 kms of overhead and underground lines with a workforce in excess of 6,000 staff.
In 2013, Western Power Distribution identified the need to focus upon the behavioural and human factors which influence the culture of safety across their organisation. Having already established a robust suite of ‘Standard Techniques’ for conducting safety-critical tasks and having very strong processes and policies in relation to Health and Safety, it became evident that human errors, omissions and contraventions were playing a significant part in its remaining incidents and near-misses.
Juice Learning were fortunate enough to be one of the behavioural safety training providers that Western Power Distribution entered into discussions with at an early stage in order to select a suitable partner organisation to assist them on this journey of improvement.
Through a period of consultation with Western Power Distribution it became clear that tackling these behavioural safety issues was not a simple case of targeting the front-line workforce with ‘training’; the changes which would be required to move the organisation to the next level of safety performance will necessitate the full and unequivocal support of management and leadership throughout the business, not just in words, but in action.
Therefore, Juice developed a proposition for Western Power Distribution that involved the delivery of a 2-tiered behavioural safety programme. Separate interventions would be developed for leaders and for staff, focusing specifically upon the behaviours, attitudes and actions required at each of these levels to effectively support a culture of Safety Excellence.
Over the course of the past 18 months, Juice has undertaken a period of extensive research and development within Western Power Distribution. This process has included, amongst other things, a 10 day ‘tour’ of the business, meeting and talking with staff and management across a wide range of business functions and activities, consultation with key stakeholders within the Safety Team, presentations to senior management and the design and delivery of a ‘Pilot Programme’ in August/September 2014.
After detailed evaluation of the pilot programme and a series of final amendments to the session content, the ‘Switched on to Safety’ programme is now preparing for rollout across the South West, West Midlands and South Wales, commencing in January 2015.
The programme, which exemplifies Juice Learning’s renowned blend of challenging facilitation, audience interaction and hard-hitting live theatre scenarios, encourages participants to explore their own attitudes and perceived responsibilities to safety.
The events which Juice has created for the programme are designed to expose and address the reality that what we think, say and do isn’t always perfectly aligned to the goal of achieving a culture of Safety Excellence and Zero Harm. We explore a wide range of issues including, but not limited to: Hazard Awareness, Challenging Unsafe Acts, Taking Personal Responsibility for Safety, Leading Safety and Influencing Others.
The delivery schedule includes over 100 days of touring events and will involve two of our specialist teams ‘hitting the road’ simultaneously and working in different regions of Western Power Distribution’s operating area. Each team will deliver a combination of full-day ‘Leaders Events’ and ½ day ‘Staff Events’ working with, over the course of 3 months and 34 different locations, the majority of the company’s 6,000-strong workforce.
After many months of hard work and preparation, we look forward to seeing the programme up and running in early 2015 and the Juice Learning team are confident that ‘Switched on to Safety’ will be a great success.