RR942 - Safety culture on the Olympic Park

Preparations for hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games have involved large scale construction programmes to deliver new venues and fit out existing buildings and infrastructure. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as the Government's independent regulator for work related health and safety issues, wanted the 2012 Games to drive improvements in health, safety and welfare standards in the construction industry. Simultaneously, the construction client for London 2012, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), was committed to ensuring this was the 'safest and healthiest build on record'.

This research explored the Safety Climate during the construction phase of the London 2012 Games. The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) Safety Climate Tool (SCT) was used to collect data between 2008-2010. Positive SCT scores provided evidence of a strong safety culture. SCT scores were analysed alongside safety performance measures taken from across the Park (eg injury accidents, reportable accidents, and health and safety near misses), and demonstrated the effectiveness of the initiatives employed on the Park.

Interviews and focus groups were used to identify and explore the wealth of good practices across the Park, and enabled the development of case studies outlining the initiatives and practices that were employed. The London 2012 Games has demonstrated that it is possible and feasible to develop high standards of health and safety, and a culture that supports this aspiration within the construction sector. Many of the areas of good practice are frequently cited as being too complex to apply to the construction sector. This research provides evidence that it is possible, through engagement, worker involvement and organisational commitment to develop a strong safety culture.

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 2021-04-26