Thames Water: Optimise jv to reduce cable strike risks for engineers

Optimise, one of Thames Water’s AMP6 alliance partners, is working with People Risk specialist Cognisco to assess engineers in cable strike avoidance techniques.

Thames Water is aiming to reduce the risk of underground cable strikes and improve safety standards for engineers by requiring them to undertake a cable avoidance evaluation assessment to ensure they can meet and demonstrate competence, confidence and project safety compliance standards.

An estimated 60,000 accidental underground cable strikes occur every year which can cause serious injury or death and cost businesses millions of pounds in associated damages and compensation costs.

To reduce cable strike risks, Thames Water is requiring all engineers to complete a cable avoidance assessment to demonstrate their competence.

.Cognisco’s Cable Avoidance Evaluation offers a new approach to traditional cable strike avoidance training based on the latest behavioural training and assessment techniques.

The assessment uses situational judgement questions based on realistic scenarios that utilities workers encounter daily and measures the knowledge, competence and confidence of workers in all aspects of the role. The results reveal what people know, as well as their behaviour and attitude towards risk, and highlight any knowledge gaps and specific training needs so they can be addressed.

To date, 1035 individuals from 28 different companies working through Optimise have participated in the Cable Avoidance Evaluation and the assessment will be delivered to hundreds more engineers.

Nick Gilbert, Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager at Optimise commented:

“The industry has worked hard to reduce the number of strikes in recent years and the introduction of the Cognisco behavioural assessment really made us refocus on the ‘risk’ of people and develop improved briefings and training to ensure our people have the right balance of competence and confidence. This, combined with other initiatives, has led to a year on year reduction of service strikes and I am convinced that the assessment has contributed to this success.”

To find out more about the programme click here.

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