LiHS Programme

Leadership in Health and Safety: methodology

lihs method

In 2008 Saipem launched the Leadership in Health and Safety project, a programme for cultural change targeted at all levels of the organisation with the aim of modifying the outlook and behaviour with which we all tackle our everyday tasks in the workplace and beyond.

The LiHS programme was the outcome of years of study and research which sought to identify the best tools for understanding behaviour and having an impact on it: virtuous deeds are encouraged, while those deemed detrimental to health and safety are isolated.

LiHS is a strategy of actions coordinated in time through a gradual development that unfolds in five distinct stages.

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The first stage consists of an interactive workshop, lasting a day and a half, in which all the Company's senior managers are invited to take part. The workshop begins by explaining the key values that Top Management developed with the creation of the Saipem Health & Safety Vision, a document issued when the programme was first launched and in which Saipem's future vision to be a world leader in health and safety was outlined. In order to convey the contents of the programme even more efficiently, a film, The Safer the Better, produced entirely by Saipem, portrays in a dramatic way a workplace accident and the chain of events leading up to it.

The second stage of the LiHS strategy involves the personal and direct cascading of the workshop messages by the managers to their teams.

In the third stage the entire workforce is involved in a training programme on the practical use of Five Stars, a tool created in-house to manage unsafe behaviour effectively in any situation and at any rung on the hierarchical ladder.

The fourth stage was launched in 2011 and consists of the Leading Behaviours campaign. This new development in Leadership in Health & Safety aims to spread five non-negotiable behaviours which must become a part of Saipem's DNA.

The fifth stage, Choose Life, is dedicated to the growth of a new culture, that of health, which must go hand in hand with safety. The campaign aims to make Saipem employees aware of the need to focus more on their lifestyles and their health.

All stages have some key elements in common, and together these make this method both innovative and effective:

  • Leadership: In order to spread safe and healthy behaviour, the commitment of Top Management is essential, since it has the power to forge a safety culture throughout the company. For this reason, the CEO appears in person in the film The Safer the Better to state explicitly that health and safety are an absolute and indispensable value for Saipem. It is also the task of managers to instil the messages learned into their own work teams.
  • Emotional involvement: The activities have been designed to generate a strong emotional impact, one that can raise awareness and get people to question long-held and widespread convictions and habits, thus preparing them to accept change.
  • Codes of communication: Workshops, images, videos, theatre, music and emotions are the channels through which health and safety messages are disseminated.
  • Interactiveness and practical tools: All initiatives include a high level of interactiveness and provide easy-to-learn practical tools which can be applied immediately in the workplace and in other areas of daily life.

The success of the various initiatives and the experience acquired during seven years of activity have convinced Saipem's senior management of the need to translate the know-how of the LiHS programme into a Foundation. This aims to spread the LiHS methodology by applying it to other work contexts and other business sectors, thus facilitating research into and communication of the various aspects of health and safety linked to leadership, mindsets and behaviour.

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Designing Behaviours – An innovative approach to driving organisational safety culture

Saipem has worked tirelessly since 2006 to deploy its safety leadership programme. During that period it has moved the hearts and minds of people, going beyond traditional communications tools to spread a culture of safety.

In order to accelerate this cultural development even further, an innovative and inspiring campaign called Leading Behaviours was introduced in 2011. This focused on visible behavioural change and peer-to-peer conformity, and incorporated a bottom-up and top-down strategy to engage the workforce actively.

Five simple, transferable and non-negotiable behaviours, carefully developed by a HSE and Operational Management Workgroup, were injected into the workplace over a nine-month period with a view to being embedded into the DNA of everyday actions and decisions, thereby disrupting a cycle of unsafe behaviour.

designing behaviours

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Following the CEO’s companywide campaign launch, management and line supervisors cascaded the behaviours to their respective workforces by means of high influence events. These were supported by multimedia communications and incorporated the “peer-conformity” mechanism of story-telling, which emphasised behaviours translated into action by employees and encouraged others to follow suit.

The nine-month strategy saw the release of one new behaviour every six-weeks, in this way maintaining a long-term focus which allowed each behaviour to be practiced before the next one was issued. The campaign concluded with a twenty-minute hard-hitting film which followed the life of a Saipem employee, visibly demonstrating in simple terms how the Leading Behaviours can be interwoven into working and home life.

This innovative emotional and behavioural based approach has paid dividends, reflected in a reduction in accident frequency by over 50% and an increase in proactive safety observations by 70%.

Humans are resistant to change but are highly susceptible to peer-to-peer influence, meaning they can easily adapt to behavioural change when those around them are involved in the process.


LiHS Programme in numbers


LiHS events performed


Participants in  2013


Choose Life Events organised

Find out more on LiHS Programme numbers

LiHS Programme201120122013
Phase 1
LiHS trained facilitators  12 24 19
Workshops performed 105 130 113
Number of participants in workshop phase 1 1,421 1,643 1,405
Phase 2
Number of cascading events 80 126 87
Number of cascading participants 4,882 4,459 2,962
Phase 3
Five Stars train the trainer 14 3 6
Number of Five Stars training courses 197 252 121
Number of Five Stars participants 2,064 2,373 1,329
Phase 4
Number of Leading Behaviours Cascading events 757 265 86
Number of Leading Behaviours Cascading participants 26,928 9,639 4,291

LiHS data is updated on a periodic basis, not always in line with the calendar year. Changes can occur from one year to the next.

Choose Life - Saipem awareness campaign

The sector in which Saipem operates means that many people spend long periods in countries where it is necessary to address health risks that they were not previously aware of in their own countries.

For this reason, Saipem has chosen to invest energy and resources in a new programme called ‘Choose Life’, dedicated to developing the culture of health, which must go hand in hand with that of safety.

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