My colleague Michael Colton and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the Tideway EPIC Induction recently, and it certainly was an eye opener.
The lack of knowledge of what to expect is part of the journey in the induction and I am not going to give too much away, however it is fair to say it is an intense day with a lot to take in. It would be very difficult for even a seasoned construction professional, with hundreds of inductions under their belt, to walk away from the day without thinking differently about health and safety in some way, which I suppose is the whole point.
The induction really takes a holistic view of individuals in the work environment, we are all daughters, fathers, mothers, cousins and grandparents…..as well as employers and employees. The decisions made and actions taken by individuals at work are not made solely due to their mind set at work at that point in time. They are impacted by a range of factors including their personal life. It is essential this wider view of an individual is take into account when communicating and making decisions.
A key focus of the induction is unsurprisingly communication, however this is not just communicating with your peer group but also focuses on challenging upwards.
Despite the fact we know how important communication is in creating a safe environment….and in everyday life, so few of us have ever had training on this and so few even realise how we communicate. (I had no idea that 55% of how we communicate comes from visual cues and only 7% from what we say.)
There is a lot to take in and I would not have thought anyone could master all however, even if each person were to take away a fraction of what was discussed the sites will surely be much safer places, and better places to work. And hey, construction professional by their nature are nomadic and will take these skills across the country and globally.
Following the EPIC Induction there is an individual site-specific induction. The great thing about the EPIC induction is that the skills learnt can be used on any site, in the world. Every EPIC Induction receives a presentation from a member of the senior leadership team at Tideway. Steve Hails, The Director of HSEQ took our group and underlined the importance for the organisation of taking a different approach to health and safety and gave an outline of the health and safety performance, with the health and safety incidents at this stage in the project lower than other large-scale infrastructure projects. Of course, it is impossible to pinpoint the EPIC induction as the reason for these positive results but having been through it, it is difficult to argue that it has not had a major impact.
With over 13,000 people having already gone through the EPIC Induction this has to have a positive impact not just for Tideway but a long-term positive impact for the construction industry as a whole.
*James Irwin is a Director at Irwin & Colton, a specialist health, safety & environment recruitment company. Fro further information contact James on * [firstname.lastname@example.org](mailto:email@example.com)
Image: Tideway London on Instagram