Laing O’Rourke rolls out radical ‘Safety Differently’ approach

It has been widely reported that John Green, Laing O’Rourke Director of Health and Safety Europe, is leading a company mission to deliver “Safety Differently” which involves a move away from the culture of controlling all risks under the banner of “zero harm” towards an approach which concentrates resources on severe and fatal risks.

The approach was first launched in Laing O’Rourke Australia under the banner of Next Gear designed to move beyond traditional safety practices and measures by applying the three principles:

  • People – are the solution and not the problem;
  • Positive – safety in the presence of positives not negatives; and
  • Ethical – safety is an ethical responsibility not a bureaucratic activity.

Reduced bureaucracy, simplified systems

These principles are supported by tactics which bring the principles to life across workplaces by:

  • Focusing on high consequence risks
  • Investigating for success
  • Reducing bureaucracy and simplifying systems
  • Empowering the workforce through engagement and trust
  • Leadership that challenges traditional thinking.

The strategy recognises that statistics are not necessarily an indicator of safety success. This involves looking beyond failures to identify the positives.