Costain

Costain helps to improve lives with smart infrastructure solutions across the UK’s energy, water, transportation and defence sectors. They currently employ around 3,400 people and are one of the UK’s Top 100 Most Admired companies.

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Written by: alcumus
20th January

Managing risk effectively through a Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Assurance platform

Costain helps to improve lives with smart infrastructure solutions across the UK’s energy, water, transportation and defence sectors. They currently employ around 3,400 people and are one of the UK’s Top 100 Most Admired companies. Costain has been working with Alcumus for the last eight years, building a strong partnership based on mutual understanding and effective collaboration. The relationship began when Costain wanted to enhance their Incidents and Injury reporting, to make sure all events were captured centrally and followed up effectively. Since then, we have worked successfully together on various projects including building a system to report Waste, Utilities and associated performance monitoring tools and the creation of a bespoke Contract Targeting Risk Module and Risk Library.

In April 2021 the latest initiative was launched, the SHE Assurance Review module, replacing the previous Scored Inspection module.

The challenge

Costain is a large, complex organisation working across many projects over a wide range of industries. Having access to accurate data is vital to make sure senior leaders have an up-to-date view of each project, confident that each area is performing as it should. Managing risk effectively is incredibly important to the business and a range of data driven leading and lagging indicators are utilised in support of this. They are part of a number of joint ventures, and they must demonstrate to their partners that they work to the highest possible standards. Employee wellbeing is also a major concern, and every effort is taken to protect both the mental and physical health of employees.

While the previous solution created with Alcumus met their initial requirements when it was introduced, advances in technology and demands within the business meant it was time for a refresh, adding even more depth to the data captured and making sure every possible finding was identified and followed up.

“The thing I appreciate most about working with Alcumus is how customisable their systems are. The flexibility they offer us to create exactly what we need to meet our specific requirements is invaluable. Their IT support is incredibly helpful, and their speed of response means we can quickly find the solution we need. Regular contact with our account manager means we are always up to date with their latest developments. We are continually looking to improve our systems to make them as efficient and user friendly as possible. We already have several projects in the pipeline for 2022, one of which will be enhancing our reporting on biodiversity and C02 emissions, both major priorities for Costain as we seek to fulfil our Climate Change Action Plan.”

Isabelle Vallee, Capture and SHE Data Lead

The solution

Costain had a desire to change the perception around recording inspections. They believed that it was possible some events may be going unreported because employees felt reluctant to do so, feeling that it reflected negatively on their work. As a behaviourally driven organisation, a decision was taken to address this by revising the design of the ‘SHE Assurance Review’ module and changing the scoring criteria. Red scoring was replaced with major dark blue findings or significant mid blue findings depending on the severity and amber scoring was replaced with light blue minor findings.

The new module captures more detail, offering enhanced reporting capability, allowing Costain to manage the SHE Assurance risk library internally with a dedicated module. Working with their Alcumus Customer Success Manager and the Info Exchange Delivery Team, Costain has been able to integrate it into a single portal, known internally as “Capture”, which holds all the risk data for the organisation plus joint venture projects. This means everyone in the organisation who needs to access this information can do so easily and quickly. More than 1,200 employees have access and over 700 can run reports to get the information they need. Senior leaders have clear sight of all the data they require in easy-to-read dashboards so can act decisively to address any concerns and reinforce good performance.

“Over the last year, we’ve implemented the electronic contract targeted risk monitoring (CTRM) process across HS2 sites where Costain is working. This electronic solution offered by Alcumus has really benefited the teams by getting involved with the HSW (health, safety and welfare) assurance checks carried out on site. This is a vast improvement over the previous paper-based system, making it quicker and more robust. This has really streamlined the CTRM process making it simple to complete. The dashboards produced are extremely beneficial for senior management, who can review historical data and carry out trending, feeding directly in to planned proactive safety step-ups.”

Isabel Delaney BSc CMIOSH, Safety, Health & Environment (SHE) Manager - Rail

The results

In the first six months of the new SHE Assurance module being live, 790 actions were identified, compared to 327 actions using the old module in the previous six months. Feedback from employees has been positive and this is reflected in the increased activity on the system. Thankfully, only one major action was identified but due to the enhanced efficiency and actions tracking, an improvement plan was implemented to rapidly rectify the situation and minimise risks. Such impacts mean that Senior leaders have greater confidence that potential risks are being spotted and addressed effectively.

It is not just within the SHE Assurance review module that results have been positive. In all the elements of the Capture SHE digital management system, the number of incidents and injuries, hazards, positive observations and inspections reported has increased and any action required to make improvements has been taken even more quickly. It is continuing to drive a culture of best practice within the organisation, where employees are even more engaged with the health, safety and environment agenda, focused on working in a safe and sustainable way.