Imaginative safety training engages the workforce and helps foster positive behavourial safety change. That in mind WJ employed a mock trial format to reinforce key people / plant interface issues, mandatory use of banksman and adherence to WJ adopted 6 point PPE.
Safety is a WJ core value and as part of an ongoing programme the training was delivered to the entire workforce by means of four regional seminars across the UK. The hugely successful events were further enhanced with invaluable contributions from the WJ client base including, Chris Plant, Group HS&E Advisor, Eurovia UK, David Reeves, Health & Safety Advisor, Skanska and James Bird, Corporate SHE Operations Manager, Kier Highways Services.
The mock trial element was facilitated by the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) supported by a lineup of experienced actors and professionally executed by Paul Verrico a Partner and Solicitor-Advocate in the Environment, Health & Safety team at Eversheds
WJ employees were totally engrossed with the mock incident, HSE investigation, trial proceedings and subsequent verdict. On each occasion the silence in the room was deafening as the defendant, a supervisor, was cross examined live on stage.
Craig Williams, WJ Health & Safety Director commented “You cannot highlight safety polices often enough but finding new ways to ensure the message is taken on board is always a challenge. Judging by reaction at the time and the feedback I have received since, it gives me confidence that this has been a very worthwhile exercise”
At each event the jury was chosen entirely at random from the WJ workforce and they played their part very well with a great deal of debate and reasoned argument before delivering their verdict.
Paul Verrico consolidated the exercise by highlighting the fact that everyone has a legal responsibility for health & safety. Unlike criminal law, employees, managers and directors are guilty until proven innocent. Only by following policy and demonstrating reasonable behaviours for their safety and all affected by their actions or omissions, can they prove innocence.
WJ’s undertaking remains for their entire workforce to ‘think exceptional’ about their own safety, their colleague’s safety and the safety of vulnerable road users. In fact, the WJ workforce are challenged to consider anyone on whom their actions may impact.