As part of the process of attaining accident free operations, the UK Step Change in Safety organization has suggested that ‘Personal Responsibility for Safety’ (PRFS) (1) will build on the existing safe plant and equipment in addition to the safe systems that hitherto have been the mainstay of safety improvements creating a change in our safety behaviour and ultimately performance.
This paper demonstrates one organization's innovative approach to engaging staff in PRFS. It addresses the challenge faced in moving the nine key elements of PRFS from a paper based work pack to an inherent behaviour exhibited by the organization and our colleagues
PRFS is composed of a template of ideal behaviours by which the individual and the organization can assess their performance leading them to self evaluation and hence to improvement. Personal Responsibility for Safety cannot be a short term programme but must be undertaken as a continuing long term process of improvement or culture change.
It must be stressed that PRFS is not simply a programme for laying complete responsibility on those in the front line in the work place.
The methodology employed used a combination of live theatre, based on the elements of PRFS, and mirrored existing business processes. Through this the leadership team was introduced to their own behaviours and those of the PRFS model. The participants were invited to self evaluate their PRFS maturity before being given independent assessment based on the PRFS maturity matrix.
More traditional approaches of engagement had been previously rejected as they were not believed to be effective enough in communicating and involving the appropriate staff.
A number of important initial lessons can be learnt from this process which will be valuable even outwith the UK and for those wanting to stimulate change. These are shared regarding the engagement process and the participant's own preconceptions of their performance versus the independent assessment are discussed.