VolkerRail turns to psychologist to further improve its safety record

VolkerRail has teamed up with Dr Jim Morgan, a senior lecturer in psychology at Sheffield Hallam, to assess the human factors that may contribute towards worksite accidents aiming to further reduce accident risks for its workers using cutting edge psychological techniques.

manchester (89).jpg

VolkerRail is a highly established and experienced railway infrastructure contractor which has worked throughout the UK on high profile projects for Network Rail, London Underground and most of the UK's light rail and tram operating companies. We have an excellent safety record; however we're exploring the possibilities that; improving psychological and behavioural factors can improve a person's awareness and reduce accidents and risks on site.

Dr Morgan's research concentrates on finding ways to help organisations improve their effectiveness while maintaining or improving employee health and well-being. He is also interested in the factors that influence risky decision-making and performance at work, particularly in safety-critical environments.

Dr Morgan will work with staff based at VolkerRail's Scunthorpe depot, and will assess potential problems such as lapses of attention and poor decision making, together with workers' attitudes and personalities.

Dr Morgan said: "VolkerRail has a great safety record but is determined to lower the risk of employee injury even further. In all lines of work external factors can intervene to alter a work environment and heighten injury risk. This first study will be looking for examples of this, and will learn from workers how they negotiate and cope with risk in these situations."

VolkerRail's HSQE Director, Stuart Webster-Spriggs commented; "VolkerRail is committed to improving safety based on factual evidence and a true understanding of behaviours. This collaborative project with Sheffield Hallam University gives us the perfect opportunity to identify behavioural aspects in decision making and the measures needed to ensure the correct attitudes are realised and adopted, influence the decision making processes and intervene at a management level before accidents/incidents and close calls occur".