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Transforming safety culture by democratising data

Transforming safety culture by democratising data

Author: Mark Berg, A14 Integrated Delivery Team and Costain senior project director

A safety observations app is helping us protect people working on major infrastructure projects. The app concept was created by the Costain team working in partnership with Skanska and Balfour Beatty to deliver the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme on behalf of Highways England. It was designed to be a quicker, easier and more effective way of capturing the information that would usually be recorded on safety observation cards.

By moving the paper-based reporting process online, the A14 team increased the number of observations recorded in a month from around 500 to more than 4,000. But the most significant shift was in the type of data that was recorded by workers. Half of the observations were positive.


An app that helps keep construction workers safe
Observation App stats showing fall in incidents through positive behaviours

This transformed the safety culture across the project’s sites. We’d believed that a more positive culture would not only reinforce safe behaviours but also encourage more colleagues to keep health, safety and wellbeing in mind. Now, we had the data to prove that when people took the time to recognise others’ actions, the number of incidents did indeed decrease.

According to the app’s developers, the product was designed to be easy use and that was key to its success. It enabled people to engage with the process in a way that we’re all increasingly familiar with - using just a few taps on the screen of a mobile device.

Photos can be uploaded to the application in support of comments, and a user’s location can be logged automatically if location services are enabled on their device. For supervisors, the app also provides detailed insight into the hazards and good practice shown on site.

Read the full article from Mark Berg, A14 Integrated Delivery Team and Costain Senior Project Director, for more on how data and digital technology improved safety and contributed to the early delivery of the A14 with efficiency savings of £196m.

Visit our complex programme delivery hub to find out more about other ways in which Costain leverages the power of data and digital technology to drive safer, faster, greener and more efficient infrastructure delivery.



More than meets the eye