RR880 - Development of a Web-based Leadership and Worker Engagement (LWE) Toolkit for small and medium enterprises in construction

This report summarises the final phase of a project ongoing since 2007, aiming to improve health and safety practices in construction through leadership and worker engagement (LWE). A web-based, interactive toolkit was developed with SMEs in mind. In-depth feedback (workshops, focus groups, interviews) was obtained from 17 companies (13 SMEs) at key milestones. In parallel, the validity and reliability of a Health and Safety (cultural) Diagnostic Tool (HSDT) contained within the toolkit was examined.

The toolkit was found to be useful for SMEs; it met their needs, they wanted to continue its use, had secured some quick wins and thought that other SMEs would benefit from using it. The added value dimension of the toolkit was considered to be its prescriptive ('how to') nature with simple tools and techniques. The HSDT was considered to be sufficiently reliable and valid, and helpful for making sure that changes adopted suit the company's level of (cultural) readiness.

Important considerations for ongoing implementation of the toolkit once launched on HSE's website include: how to effectively market it to SMEs, setting up a support mechanism for users, keeping the toolkit 'live', and evaluating its effectiveness in practice eg through case studies of SMEs using it.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-23