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Behaviour Change: Achieving Health & Safety Culture Excellence

05 July 2022 - 06 July 2022


Not all risks can be engineered out of the work environment.  Even with the best plans, procedures and systems in place, individuals at work still take short cuts and make mistakes. Sometimes risk-taking behaviour is intentional, for whatever reason. In other cases, risks may be taken due to a lack of understanding about a particular hazard, associated controls or inadequate training. To individual workers, such risk-taking can result in injury, ill-health and fatalities. To the organisation, some of the many costs can include lost time, damage to machinery, litigation, and prosecution. If unchecked, these costs can escalate.

This course, delivered by HSE psychologists, will provide you with an understanding of the many factors that influence both workers' and managers' behaviour. It will also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of traditional behaviour modification strategies for correcting unsafe and unhealthy behaviour, highlighting why such approaches may have limited impact. The course adopts a holistic approach to health and safety cultural improvement using behaviour change techniques (incorporating HSE's ASCENT - Achieving Safety Culture Excellence Now and Tomorrow programme) and concludes with strategies to help reduce the likelihood of risk taking behaviour for health and safety. It differs from other courses on this topic by demonstrating how behaviour change, leadership and worker engagement can be incorporated into the wider health and safety management system to ensure an integrated, and therefore more effective approach to risk management. In doing so, both the immediate and underlying causes of risk-taking can be tackled head on. These strategies apply as much to manager behaviour as they do to operational staff.

The course will cover:

CPD Certified

  • Why people take risks at work
  • The consequences of risk taking for individuals and the organisation
  • How to prepare an organisation for a health and safety cultural improvement programme
  • Assessing safety culture and safety climate - use and follow up of the Safety Climate Tool
  • Strategies for influencing senior management
  • Factors that influence behaviour outlining HSE's model of behaviour change
  • Human failure: errors and violations
  • Strategies to identify the root cause of behaviours
  • Evidence based strategies to encourage safer and healthier behaviour, e.g.
    • How to develop persuasive risk communication
    • Worker engagement
    • Leadership development
    • How to impart knowledge
    • Changing habits
    • Mitigating perceptual biases
    • Changing beliefs, values and attitudes
    • Making best use of nudges
    • Developing interpersonal skills
    • Developing situational awareness
  • Evaluating your programme and maintaining change

Who should attend?

The course is most appropriate for health and safety managers with limited knowledge / experience of behaviour change approaches. However, it will also be relevant to those who have established behaviour change initiatives but are interested in how the psychological priniciples of human behaviour can be mapped onto an integrated health and safety management system.

Post Event Consultation

In our experience whilst this course will prepare delegates to develop and implement a behaviour change programme, organisations often find that they want the security of having HSE experts available to support them through the process and help them tailor the approach to meet their current context, culture maturity level and audience.

We will advise and guide you, 'sense check' your ideas and trouble shoot problems that arise by drawing on our wealth of expertise (both theoretical and practical) and experience of applying such a process in organisations across industry.  Our knowledge of what has and has not worked previously for other organisations can be invaluable.

HSE's experts can provide a variety of 'next step' solutions to help kick start your health and safety cultural programme, including:

1. Delivery of a one hour presentation to your senior management team outlining the ASCENT approach to achieving safety culture excellence.

2. A two hour facilitated exercise encouraging the SMT to develop an organisational vision and associated values.  Alternatively, HSE can provide you with a training/facilitation pack allowing you to run the exercise.

3.  A workshop to explore your leadership capability to deliver a change programme.

4. Facilitated 'ask the expert' session affording you and your team an opportunity to ask a member of the HSE safety culture team direct questions about your issues and support in developing your approach.

5. Facilitated action planning session using gap analysis to identify what you are currently doing for each of the 5 steps in the ASCENT process and identify what actions you might consider taking.

For further information and pricing on this post event consultation, please email


The cost of the course is £1,175 per person.

Comments & Feedback

"Excellent course, professionally presented, that provided a range of ideas and approaches as to how we can modify behaviour."

Chris Huckle, Rothamsted Research (North Wyke)

"Feel that all leaders within a company should have this training."

Nick Davies, Boohoo

"I really enjoyed the course as it was very interactive with plenty of time for discussion. The size of the class was just right and both presenters were able to engage the audience. The content was also very relevant to my work. It gave me new ideas in improving the H&S culture in my organization."

Marcus Wong, Hospital Authority

Book Course

Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit card at the time of booking.

For further dates and additional information email: or contact the Training and Events Team at HSE directly on +44 (0)203 028 3704.

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