Involving the workforce


The scale of the London 2012 projects resulted in the assembly of a huge workforce brought together from all parts of Great Britain and beyond. Effective communications within teams was essential to contribute to achieving the Olympic Delivery Authority's target of 'zero fatal accidents by 2012'.


A frequent underlying cause of construction project incidents is 'poor communications'. Experience shows that lower incident rates occur on projects where the workforce is fully engaged on health and safety issues.


On one project, in addition to trades union representation, briefings, safety circles and toolbox talks, two new communication initiatives were introduced to improve worker involvement:

Front of observation card
Back of observation card

Observation cards were introduced to encourage the workforce to record both good and bad observations about activities on site. There were 780 cards collected in one year. The system prompts people to take responsibility for finding a solution rather than just reporting problems.

Making Safety Personal card

Making safety personal is another card system used in co-operation with the project health and safety manager. The cards asked site workers and their line managers to commit to specific health and safety actions over a given period.