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Eye Safety Campaign Launched

30 October 2013

Costain has launched a campaign for people on the Severn Trent Water Framework to raise awareness about the risk of not wearing appropriate eye protection on site.

Organised in conjunction with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the Building Sight Campaign was spearheaded by SHE Advisor, Laura Colleran, and is the latest high-impact employee well-being programme to be organised by Costain.

“There are around two million people in the UK living with varying levels of sight loss and we wanted to ensure that staff and operatives fully appreciated the potential risks of not protecting their eyes while working on site,” said Laura.

The Campaign trail spanned five sites across the Severn Trent Water Framework. Hour-long sessions explored the impacts of eye injuries, eye diseases and construction case studies. Participants also had the opportunity to try out eyewear adapted to replicate living with eye impairment, allowing them to experience for a short period what daily life would be like with impaired or full loss of sight.

In line with Costain’s Behavioural Safety techniques, Laura also developed posters which replicate the four types of vision loss discussed in the Building Sight sessions. These posters represented just one element of the behavioural techniques necessary to keep the right behaviours going.

Following the high-impact campaign, participating sites were asked to monitor and gather data to measure levels of compliance and provide essential feedback to teams in order to promote appropriate behaviour.

Costain’s Behavioural Safety Manager, Paul Thistle, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the results from the sites that have been monitoring, measuring and providing feedback to their teams so we can identify initiatives that have worked well and share that good practice across all of our sites.”

Chris Fielding, RNIB’s Access Consultant, added: “It was a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of wearing eye protection, the injuries that can occur and the lasting impact on people's lives. The working environment contains many potential hazards but wearing good quality, undamaged eye protection that is suitable for the particular task will greatly reduce the risk of eye injury, and possible sight loss, with all the practical and psychological effects.”