NEW - Web-based StressTools
Technology-based stress solutions
BP has used The Keil Centre's StressTools stress risk assessment package for over 2 years, and has found it to be practical and user-friendly. However, with a geographically-dispersed international workforce, speaking many languages, the PC-based version of StressTools had its limitations. BP has worked with The Keil Centre to web-enable StressTools, and implement this on their company intranet, thus allowing the tools to be available worldwide, and in many languages. Having road-tested the StressTools version in PC-based format, BP is confident that web-based delivery will add value to its occupational health strategy. Angela Whitehead, BP's Occupational Health Advisor in charge of this project believes that StressTools provides a straightforward, validated method for stress risk assessment. The whole system is designed for ease of use with no complex "jargon".
"For first time users some facilitation by an experienced individual will be required, after that teams will be able to operate themselves. One of the main strengths of the programme is the inclusion of solution driven management tools, if issues are identified then they can be dealt with simply and speedily. Health has to be at the core of all our activities and StressTools allows non-health professionals to take charge of some of the issues, which can impact on their daily working life". Angela Whitehead, BP's Occupational Health Advisor in charge of the project
For further information please contact Ronny Lardner or Chiara Amati at The Keil Centre or visit www.stresstools.com
Enhancing your own safety culture
Most organisations with safety-critical operations recognise the value of developing a strong safety culture, as the way people at all levels think and behave in the workplace radically influences the occurrence or absence of accidents. However, it is difficult to assess your own safety culture without a suitable framework to compare the status quo with the ideal safety culture. Peter Willis and colleagues at BAA Heathrow were looking for a method of developing their own safety culture, and reducing their reliance on external expertise. Peter learned about The Keil Centre's Safety Culture Maturity® Model, and arranged for several BAA staff to be trained as internal facilitators, and become equipped to assess and enhance safety culture within BAA's diverse businesses. Following a pilot project to evaluate the Safety Culture Maturity® method, BAA has decided this approach meets their requirements, and plans to extend its use during 2004. Key features appreciated by Peter and his colleagues included good facilitator training, strong employee involvement, and the identification of practical steps to enhance safety culture. "Having evaluated several possible ways of developing our safety culture, we chose Safety Culture Maturity® because it offered an easily understood and practical way to assess the current status of our safety culture. More importantly, it offered a way to identify and develop ownership of specific actions to help improve the safety culture." Peter Willis, Safety Culture Change Programme Manager, BAA
For further information please contact Ronny Lardner at The Keil Centre.
Reducing stress levels from 26% to 5% - It can be done!
In June 2001, The Keil Centre carried out a StressTools stress risk assessment with staff from an offshore catering team. At that time, 26% of the staff were classified as 'high stress' - higher than the benchmark! The top work-related sources of stress for the group included uncertainty over the future of the job, being treated unfairly by company chefs and supervisors, and frequent equipment breakdowns. The onshore catering crew manger realised the importance of acting on the results quickly. A trip offshore was conducted to clarify the future of jobs on this specific platform, as well as elsewhere in the company. A business case was made to the platform operator for the addition to the team of a technical maintenance operator to be available offshore to fix faults with equipment as needed. The importance of team-work was emphasised to all employees and measures taken to ensure all staff were treated fairly. The offshore catering team also took the opportunity to share the lessons learned from this risk assessment with other platforms. As a result, all staff offshore now receive regular communication updates from onshore, offering an opportunity to recognise successes within the company and inform of any future developments. A repeat StressTools stress risk assessment was carried out by the platform medic in Autumn 2003, which showed a great improvement. Two years on, only 5% of staff were in the high stress group and the number of people reporting the top 5 sources of stress had decreased from an average of 29% to only 13%. The key to the success of this project was taking action quickly and sharing the lessons learned with the rest of the company. The offshore catering team recognised that the risk assessment gave them the opportunity to both improve employee wellbeing and facilitate performance and business growth.
" We were pleased with the initial feedback as it gave us the opportunity to address some key issues and improve the overall well-being of our workforce. Many of the learnings have been applied across our business to prevent future stress. " - Offshore catering team manager
For further information please contact Chiara Amati at The Keil Centre
Safety Culture Maturity® Goes Mediterranean!
English has become the common 'business language' for most international companies. "Lucky for us native speakers" you might say, but what about front-line staff for whom English is a foreign language? Unilever was interested in using The Keil Centre's Safety Culture Maturity® Model (SCMM) to assess and improve their safety culture in sites across the UK and Europe. Gaining full employee involvement is essential in any SCMM project, but how could this be achieved when communicating in English to Spanish and Italian staff? When Unilever heard that The Keil Centre employed psychologists who are native speakers of Italian and Spanish, the deal was done! The Safety Culture Maturity® Model was translated into Italian and Spanish by Chiara Amati and Alicia Peña, respectively, and the whole project run for Unilever sites in Italy and Spain in their native language. The method worked well as the key elements the model assesses are just as relevant in sites in Spain and Italy as they are in the UK, where it was developed - as the safety literature would suggest. The advantages of conducting the project in a native language were obvious: greater involvement and enthusiasm from staff as well as more interest in the model itself. Creating the right conditions for staff to be open and honest is crucial when involving staff in assessing and improving the culture at work. Being able to communicate freely and in your own language is a key part of this - especially for front line staff. So, with multi-lingual psychologists and a reliable model… the world's the limit!
"Using local language and wording has proven most beneficial in the SCMM process, it helped to get employee involvement and ownership of the findings" Damien Leclercq, Safety Health and Environment Co-ordinator of Unilever Bestfoods Europe.
For further information please contact Chiara Amati at The Keil Centre
Human factors and equipment design
How can I ensure that equipment is designed to optimise performance and safety? How do I avoid expensive re-engineering of systems to correct usability problems?
These are two frequently asked questions that The Keil Centre has the answers to.
The Human Factors and Ergonomics disciplines grew out of the needs of the aviation industry, and it is in the civil and military aviation field that they have become most mature. We are pleased to be able to offer these specialist services based upon over a decade of experience in civil and military aviation. We can provide a number of services to help the reduction of Human Factors risks (musculoskeletal injury, poor usability, maintainer access, etc) throughout the system development and procurement lifecycle. These include: - Evaluation of early system concepts and designs to identify potential Human Factors risks before they become expensive to fix - Assessment of proposals and designs from equipment suppliers to provide independent assurance or audit of the Human Factors considerations - Input into the design of new systems to incorporate Human Factors best practice to de-risk development.
For further information please contact Richard Scaife at our Edinburgh office.