What we looked at
When organisations consider safety as part of, everyday decision making the way that safety is understood can vary between individuals and across organisations. Safety initiatives can be framed through the development of a ‘business case’ for safety, or through a broader perspective of impact evaluation. Previous work commissioned by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, identified major gaps in the way stakeholders understand and interpret the value of safety, with societal and demographic changes leading to greater attention to issues like wellbeing (physical and psychological), diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) and sustainability, all of which can be related to safety. The purpose of this project is to update this understanding of what safety includes, relating it to existing frameworks and supporting practical application through the development of resources and tools.
What did we do?
In 2021 Lloyd’s Register Foundation commissioned Delft University of Technology to take an initial look at how safety was valued through a literature review and a survey. It found that safety has multiple values associated with it, that these vary between different organisations and sectors, and that the relative importance of the values can change over time. Further work in the area was strongly supported by a subsequent workshop attended by safety practitioners.
Following on from this, the National Safety Council (NSC) were commissioned to look at how safety is valued in this changing landscape, what its ‘worth’ is and how these evolving circumstances might relate to existing frameworks and models used to understand, evaluate and take action on issues, with the aim of developing practical tools to support this in practice.
NSC in conjunction with Verdantix conducted a literature review, framework assessment, surveys and deep-dive interviews to produce a report and activation guide. Throughout the work, an expert group of safety and health leaders have validated and vetted the outputs to ensure their accuracy, efficiency and usefulness.
What have we learnt?
The research findings are arranged into six theme profiles; each has a definition, details on where the theme is covered by existing frameworks, recommended initiatives, and metrics/KPIs. The six profiles are:
- Serious injuries, illnesses and fatalities
- Mental health
- Psychological safety
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Environment and sustainability
- Ethics and governance
These can be used to gain insight into the role and benefits of safety initiatives, and guide decision making related to EHS strategies, best practices, investment decisions and performance tracking. These profiles should be of use regardless of the current level of maturity of the organisation considering them.
How can I use this?
The activation guide and associated resources should be used ‘with an eye toward actual change’. The recommendations and activation guide are intended to encourage and support discussions about plans and policy change. The guide includes a case study from industry, and there are plans for further case studies to be released over the coming months.
We acknowledge that those that are earlier in their safety journey may not feel that all the recommendations are of relevance to their efforts for promoting safety within their organisations. NSC have highlighted specific recommendations that are of relevance to those starting out on this path.
The outputs of this work highlight that in order for safety initiatives to remain relevant, they must respond to changes in the wider world and the context within which safety operates.
The Foundation is interested in hearing from those who would like to know more and is planning follow up activities to support the uptake of the activation guides.
Please get in touch via the form below for further information.