Designing safety interventions for context - what should organisations consider?

By Colin Pilbeam - May 10, 2022

Drag and drop. Plug and play. Why do organisations adopt particular interventions to improve their safety performance? Or, alternatively, to what extent do organisations consider context when designing, developing and deploying safety interventions? These were questions behind the recently completed research project funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, "Designing safety interventions for context", conducted by Prof Pilbeam in collaboration with Dr Karanikas, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. 

With approximately 500 million people each year adversely affected by work, through injury or illness, organisational safety is a significant global issue. So, how do we keep people safe at work? The report indicates that training is the most commonly used safety intervention, because it is convenient and relatively quick and easy to implement. But often two vitally important questions are overlooked. First, is it the most appropriate intervention in the circumstances? Other interventions in the hierarchy of controls might be more effective. And second, having delivered the training, what difference did it make? Organisations rarely, if ever, follow up on the effectiveness of the training they provide, potentially wasting large sums of money.  

For more findings, including a comparison of 17 cases of safety interventions applied in organisations from different sectors, and an analysis of the factors that contributed to their success or failure, please read the reports available here.