ATA Recruitment, the leading specialist engineering recruitment consultancy, has launched a ground-breaking initiative to ensure it provides clients with safety-conscious staff from day one.
The company is planning to send successful recruits on a Behavioural Safety course developed with Tewkesbury-based Symbiotics Ltd in a move which is thought to be a first for the industry.
The aim of the course is to change the behaviour and attitudes of people towards health and safety so that they take personal responsibility at all times for keeping their workplace safe.
In addition to the induction course for new recruits, ATA Recruitment and Symbiotics are able to offer advanced behavioural safety training for supervisors and managers.
The potential for catastrophe if safety practices are not robust is huge. Last year 180 people died in accidents at work, while the cost for all workplace injuries and deaths in the UK is estimated to be £3bn a year.
Moreover, small companies can struggle to cover the absence of an injured worker and organisations, large or small, can suffer a devastating loss of staff morale and of public reputation.
Scott Bulloch, Head of Operations at ATA Verticals, ATA Recruitment’s division for the safety-critical environments of rail, construction, energy, defence and aerospace, said: “The aim is to provide our clients with safer people at no additional cost or at limited additional cost.
“This behavioural-based safety induction course is designed to open people’s eyes to how their behaviours affect safety in the workplace. It is designed to make people think about how their actions can lead to risky behaviour and to understand why.”
Increasingly it is being recognised that training focused on the psychology behind behaviours adds value to all the other technical safety training which a company can provide for its employees.
“You can give someone the same health and safety course again and again and again, but actually they will become almost de-sensitised to it,” said Mr Bulloch. “It won’t necessarily change how they operate.
“The Behavioural Training we are offering is designed to encourage a change in attitude – we don’t want people to just walk on by if they see a hazard or poor practice in the workplace.”
The benefit to ATA’s clients is that they will get employees who arrive with a health and safety conscious attitude, a good foundation for any future health and safety training for particular tasks in their industry.
The risks to companies of poor health and safety cultures are immense – only this month Corus UK Ltd was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,908.50 after an overloaded crane overturned at a steelworks in Rotherham. The Health and Safety Executive said there had been a “substantial failure to provide enough suitable training” for the crane operative. He escaped with minor injuries.
Insufficient training was also a factor in an horrific accident which led to Northumbrian Water Ltd being fined £34,000 in February after pleading guilty to breaching Health and Safety legislation. A worker was left in intensive care for three days after being crushed between the bucket and cab of his construction vehicle. He suffered permanent scarring.
ATA Recruitment, part of the fast-expanding RTC Group Plc, is one of the UK’s leading recruitment consultancies in the engineering sector. With 11 regional offices across the UK, its experienced consultants aim to work closely with clients to help them improve their businesses.
They take time and trouble to fully understand a client’s requirements and carefully assess potential candidates’ aptitudes and attitudes before sending any forward for consideration – an approach that has paid dividends time and time again.
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