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May 10, 2013

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HSL upgrades tool to help firms measure safety culture

A tool to help companies measure their safety culture and develop simple, evidence-based improvements has been relaunched following a major upgrade. 

The Health and Safety Laboratory’s (HSL) Safety Climate Tool (SCT) is described as a reliable and robust psychometric instrument for measuring safety culture. Improvements to the tool include making it available online for the first time, which reduces IT security and compatibility issues. The new version is also said to offer improved reporting and benchmarking against other organisations.

“SCT is an online questionnaire, which consists of 40 statements that map on to eight key factors and measure employees’ attitudes on health and safety issues,” explained HSL’s Caroline Sugden. “The tool can be tailored to the user’s organisation with bespoke questions and branding.”

She continued: “Once the survey is complete, the tool produces a series of automated charts that allow detailed analysis of the results. The software also generates a summary report highlighting the key findings from the survey and providing hints and tips to improve the organisation’s safety culture.

“The report now also plots your organisation’s SCT scores against other organisations, and HSL can access the large database of SCT scores and provide more specific data for companies wishing to benchmark their performance.”

A tailored version of the tool was used during the preparations for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The outcome of the big-build Olympics project was an on-site accident frequency rate of just 0.16 per 100,000 hours worked — far less than the building-industry average of 0.55, and less than the all-industry average of 0.21.

The HSL points out that, even though healthy safety climate is not, in itself, a legal requirement, putting in place a programme for measuring and improving safety culture will not only reduce incidents but help show that an organisation takes health and safety seriously.

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