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How We Work: Continual Improvment of HSE Performance


It is well established that the vast majority of incidents are caused initially by one or more individuals carrying out an unsafe act, often unintentionally, but sometimes with intent. Incidents happen in companies of all types and size, and addressing unsafe acts must form a major part of any organisation's safety management and development programme. To this end we consider that risk management, safety leadership, and human factors are inextricably linked.

How We Can Help

Helix Safety is a partnership of highly successful safety consultancy and training providers, with experience at the sharp end in the Oil & Gas, Construction and Heavy Engineering sectors. We offer organisations the benefit of our experience gained over many years in safety management, in-field training, and best practice, coupled with insight and knowledge on current thinking in human factors. Our passion for, and commitment to, health & safety training matters is absolute, and we would welcome the opportunity to assist your organisation to continually improve its HSE performance.

From years of working in our respective fields, we have identified a number of reasons why defences fail and incidents occur in organisations. While most organisations have a comprehensive safety management system which is suitable and sufficient for their needs, it is often the case that the effectiveness of that system is unknowingly or inadvertently undermined. Common causes of deviations from require_onced standards include:

  • Training is delivered with little or no post training follow up to ensure that their knowledge is applied to the workplace.
  • Those managing the training effort fail to ensure that content and material is tailored to delegates' needs, with the result that attendees do not understand the training's relevance to their own circumstance
  • Incident investigations and safety intervention conversations address superficial and immediate issues, but do not 'drill deep enough' to expose underlying systematic causes and behavioural activators
  • Risk assessments are carried out to justify the proposed task being given the go ahead, rather than to identify and quantify the inherent hazard and risk potential posed by the planned work
  • Line managers unwittingly communicate mixed messages about the relative importance of HSE practices and initiatives

Most incidents occur because of behaviours at various levels within the organisation which weaken established health & safety defences. This can be due to one or more of the above reasons, or merely because of 'organisational drift'.


Helix Safety has developed a programme of fully integrated training courses which will assist organisations to achieve continual improvement in safety performance. We offer 'Joined-up Safety Training' - an integrated approach which minimises unnecessary duplication and maximises reinforcement of core issues, values and practise.

All our training courses can be customised to integrate with clients' existing company safety systems. Also, each element will stand on its own as an individual training workshop.


Our behaviour (or 'the human factor') plays an important role in the workplace. Safe behaviour ensures safe working in potentially dangerous situations or environments. Conversely, things can go badly wrong when unsafe behaviour is applied to procedures at work. Courses include:

Pep Talk

Motivating Safe Behaviours, has been developed to promote personal responsibility for safety throughout the organisation.

Pep Talk: (traditional definition: A short talk designed to enthuse a targeted audience to increase confidence, productivity and team working ), is much more than just a health & safety conversation. It helps supervisors and line-managers to understand what drives or triggers a particular behaviour, thereby promoting a conversation that genuinely promotes desired behaviours in an organisation. Additionally, the process allows line management to find out what is actually happening in the workplace, and why it might be different to that planned and expected.

Using the core Problem - Effect - Prevent process, the conversation is driven to a deeper level; i.e.:-

  • Problem
  • Effect
  • Prevent
  • True underlying causes of a behaviour, act or condition
  • Actions require_onced
  • Lessons Learnt
  • Knowledge transfer to other appropriate elements within the organisation
First DefencePersonal Responsibility for Safety

First Defence integrates safety observation and hazard identification to generate a workplace-wide personal responsibility. First Defence uses a simple Problem - Effect - Prevent approach which not only applies to self behaviour but also to activities which people may see others undertaking.


Everybody within an organisation has a safety leadership role to one extent or another. Line managers, however, have specific roles and responsibilities as safety leaders, and the more senior the position, the more impact that position has on the organisation's collective beliefs, standards and practises - the safety culture. Furthermore, in the increasingly competitive business world, organisations need to promote the highest possible levels of commitment from its people. Leadership and motivational skills enable organisations to further develop performance levels by encouraging employees to make that extra one percent effort for the company. Leadership is all about establishing, communicating and demonstrating a shared set of core values and principles. Courses include:

  • SAFETY AND THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE - introduces new perspectives with an analysis of the current leadership agenda, underpinned by behavioural psychology

Incident Investigation

During investigations it is easy to focus on the individual(s) whose actions 'caused' the incident. However, it is more important to understand the reasons which contributed to those actions if similar incidents are to be avoided in future. Courses include:

  • HELIX INVESTIGATOR - a set of workshops to provide investigators with essential knowledge and skills to determine root causes of incidents and recommend actions to prevent recurrence.
  • bp INCIDENT INVESTIGATION - Helix Safety is an approved provider of bp Federal incident investigation training, with courses designed from Standard to Senior Investigator level which are ideally suited for companies subcontracted to bp

Risk Assessment

Assessing risk is a core activity for all organisations and tasks. This recommended course follows the core PEP Problem-Effect-Prevent process, tailored to risk assessment require_oncements. Other specific assessment needs are separately catered for (for example manual handling and COSHH/CARA); these also follow the core PEP - Problem-Effect-Prevent process, providing commonality through out all levels. Courses include

  • TASK BASED RISK ASSESSMENT - legal require_oncement for risk assessment, recognising hazards, and identification of protective and preventative controls. Other areas we cover and courses we provide include:


  • SAFETY COACH - a `coach the coach` programme to facilitate and promote workplace coaching
  • HUMAN FACTORS WORKSHOPS - Tailored to particular require_oncements, these may be conducted as discrete workshops, or tied in to leadership principles. They can cover intentional and unintentional behaviours, human error and ergonomics. Human factor workshops can also be customised to mixed-responsibility groups or specific responsibility levels / roles.
  • COMPETENCY ASSURANCE - Helix Safety can provide support in a wide range of tasks and activities

Details of all training courses we can deliver are given in our Training Section