Behaviour Change: Improving Health and Safety Performance

Summary: This two day course provides health and safety managers with an understanding as to why workers take risks.

Provider: Health & Safety Laboratory (HSL)
Location: UK
Duration: 2 days
Knowledge/experience needed: None

Who should attend?
H&S managers, directors, those with little knowledge of BC but intending to implement a BC approach.

What will you learn?
To learn how to implement HSL’s behavioural change (BC) programme.

Course duration
2 days

Course content 
Not all risks can be engineered out of the work environment. Even with the best plans, procedures and systems in place, individuals at work still take short cuts and make mistakes. Sometimes risk taking behaviour, for whatever reason, is intentional. In other cases risks may be taken due to a lack of understanding about a particular hazard, associated controls or inadequate training. To individual workers, such risk taking can result in injury, ill-health and fatalities. To the organisation some of the many costs can include lost time, damage to machinery, litigation, and prosecution. If unchecked, these costs can escalate.

This course, delivered by HSL psychologists, will provide you with an understanding as to why workers take risks, covering the many factors that influence behaviour. It will also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of traditional behaviour modification strategies for correcting ‘unsafe’ behaviour, highlighting why such approaches may have limited impact. The course builds on behaviour modification approaches, adopting a five step, holistic approach to behaviour change and concludes with strategies to help reduce the likelihood of risk taking behaviour. It differs from other courses on this topic by demonstrating how behaviour change and worker engagement can be incorporated into the wider health and safety management system to ensure an integrated, and therefore more effective approach to risk management. In doing so, both the immediate and underlying causes of risk taking can be tackled head on. These strategies apply as much to manager behaviour as they do to operational staff.

The course will cover:

  • Why people take risks at work
  • The consequences of risk taking for individuals and the organisation
  • Factors that influence behaviour
  • Strategies to encourage safer behaviour / less risk taking
  • Effective risk communication
  • Worker engagement
  • Leadership strategies
  • Safety culture and safety climate – use and follow up of the Safety Climate Tool
  • Implementing change effectively
  • Integrating behaviour change with the health and safety management system
  • Maintaining change

Delegates are not subject to any formal assessment. Informal assessment will be undertaken throughout the two days through group exercises and trainer questioning.

What’s included?
course notes, certificate of attendance, lunch and refreshments

Recommended pre-requisites
Delegates may have limited or no prior knowledge of behaviour change initiatives.

Buxton, London

Contact details
Sally Kitchen, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, 01298 218806, email: