Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT December 2018

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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Page 20 of 39

The Knowledge www.wwtonline.co.uk | WWT | DECEMBER 2018 | 21 Fostering a safety culture in the water industry Having the right culture is o en the key to achieving excellence in safety compliance and performance. Here, David Towlson of NEBOSH talks to Thames Water's Chief Health, Safety & Security Officer, Karl Simons, about his top tips for fostering a positive health & safety culture in the water industry. DAVID TOWLSON, HEAD OF QUALIFICATIONS AND ASSESSMENT, NEBOSH B eyond the moral imperative of protecting people from ill-health and injury, organisa- tions face many external pres- sures which make optimum health and safety performance essential. Fines for health and safety offences leading to fatalities are now linked to turnover - a move designed to ensure that those who fail to operate within the law face a "real economic impact". It is not only legal compliance that is pushing organisations to- wards better health and safety standards. Productivity rates, talent retention, competitive advantage and overall busi- ness performance can all ben- efit significantly from health and safety excellence. While external pressures exert influence on organisa- tions, real change can only come from within. Develop- ing a positive health and safety culture is particularly important, because incidents will inevitably happen if at- titudes, beliefs and percep- tions around safety are poor. At Thames Water, Karl Simons claims that "nothing short of a cultural revolution" has taken place there over the last five years, causing lost time inju- ries (LTIs) to fall by more than 80% over the same period. Here, he shares his thoughts on four of the key elements that have driven this cultural change.

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