Improving safety with employee surveys

Since introducing regular surveys to gauge the opinions of its workforce, Stonbury has been taking responsive action to empower employees and continue to drive a culture of safety.

Since the introduction of regular staff surveys using the WorkBuzz platform, Stonbury has gained actionable insights that have been used to drive new initiatives and processes, providing a better employee experience and measurable improvements in safety.

The initial survey results highlighted concerns regarding employees’ confidence to speak up and implement safety standards. This didn’t align with the company’s ethos of ‘Making Safety our Priority,’ which ensures people feel safe at work and are empowered to challenge unsafe behaviour.

In response to these findings, Stonbury launched Empowerment Cards for all site-based staff members. These authorise the card holder to challenge and stop any work activity that they believe cannot be undertaken safely. The wording of the cards has since been updated so that employees have an 'obligation to intervene' if they witness an unsafe act or situation.

Since the introduction of the cards, Stonbury has seen a 31% increase in employees feeling empowered to stop any work activity that is unsafe, a 12% increase in employees who feel confident to challenge the way things are done, and a 68% reduction in minor injuries.

Stonbury has also utilised the survey platform to ask site staff about its personal protective equipment (PPE) offering, and many valuable responses were returned. This has enabled the company to set up a PPE and Workwear Taskforce, where items are discussed and trialled to drive continuing improvements to safety equipment and clothing.

Stonbury now thinks about safety in broader terms than just physical health and safety – considering mental health, psychological safety, and how to create a culture of inclusivity equally as important for the wellbeing of employees.

Since the initial baseline survey, Stonbury has developed the way it listens to employees, moving away from traditional annual surveys to more regular, quarterly ‘pulses’ which guide efforts to maximise engagement and tackle challenges in areas that need support.

“There’s always work to do, but [since introducing the new measures] there is more of a willingness for employees to disclose errors of judgement – honest errors aren’t punished, instead there is a focus on how we learn from them and make improvements. It’s shifted the responsibility of health and safety from appointed officers with clipboards, to making everyone responsible for it.”

Loraine Thomas, Director of People and Culture