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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Developing, implementing and integrating a Safety Behaviour Change Framework
This knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) project was set up to develop a bespoke, integrated and replicable safety behaviour change framework at Amey. Its aim was to reduce safety incidents across the business and its key supply chain – and was known as the Target Zero SafetySmart Project.
Amey is a multinational infrastructure services and engineering company. They are suppliers of services that create safer, smarter and sustainable places to live, work and travel. They are a leading supplier of consulting and support services both in the UK and internationally.
- Locations spanning four continents
Amey has a commitment to create zero harm to any of its employees and customers – this includes safety-critical environments such as rail and complex infrastructure projects. Despite extensive work and external consultancy services, the company was struggling to maintain a consistent reduction in serious safety incidents.
Amey’s senior management team collaborated with our Psychology Applied to Safety and Health (PASH) research group on the KTP. Amey recognised that they needed formal psychological and behavioural knowledge and skills to develop, implement and embed a behavioural safety strategy and solutions.
Sourcing a commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ solution was not viable due to the sheer size, diversity and dynamics of the company’s operations and workforce. So, a project was designed to develop a long-term, embedded solution tailored to Amey and its workforce.
The Target Zero SafetySmart Project was a three-year, complex, knowledge transfer project based in Amey’s Consulting and Rail division. The project was developed and embedded using a ‘bottom-up’ approach with employee buy-in at all levels. It is built upon quantitative and qualitative psychological research methods, with an additional focus on long-term knowledge transfer strategy to Amey.
The project has the ability to be integrated into different teams and projects, and be a fundamental methodology in its own right. The adoption of this framework, detailed understanding of accident risk and subsequent decrease in incidents, has led to positive effects on cost reduction associated with accidents and incidents.
- One job created: Our KTP associate is still in full-time employment with the company as Human Factors Business Partner
- The ThinkSafe Project was the winner of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)’s Initiative of the Year award in 2020
- An estimated post-KTP profit increase of £1.3m by year three
- The project was graded ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK
Rajkiran Kandola said: “ThinkSafe has now been rolled out to over 2,000 employees and has been utilised in several circumstances. I have gone on to train 15 internal ThinkSafe ‘Champions’ who support the framework roll-out, and act as key knowledge sharers across the business. The KTP was also internally awarded Amey Consulting’s Target Zero award for its efforts in embedding a psychological and human factor approach to safety in 2019.
“Despite a complex, long-term KTP, looking back at these achievements is certainly something to be proud of. The KTP provided the building blocks for not only ThinkSafe to grow, but for me to grow professionally and personally. Whilst working full-time at Amey, I am also continuing to complete my Chartership in Occupational Psychology which I started during the KTP. The hard work doesn’t stop here though, ThinkSafe is now becoming further embedded at Amey with continuous roll-outs in place, with extensions to the survey and new areas for further exploration in environmental attitudes.”
As Amey’s number one priority is safety, we are always looking for new ways to improve our safety performance. The KTP project with Leeds Beckett University gave us an opportunity to challenge our current approach towards behavioural safety.
By embedding the KTP associate within the business we have been able to leverage new knowledge in a seamless approach within our operational environments.