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Reset | Health and Safety

National Industry Updates 4 July 2022


After identifying that our sites, including Trade Partners, had multiple notifiable incidents nationwide in the three months following the Covid-19 lockdown, Cook Brothers Construction developed and implemented a Reset initiative. After identifying this pattern, in stark contrast to our statistics before lockdown, Reset has aimed to encourage a proactive response to on-site changes.

Change in construction is inevitable, and the uncertainty related to Covid-19 will be ongoing. When looking at these incidents, we discovered most occurred when the operational environment of the task had changed. Best practice in incident investigations begins with finding a root cause, usually an organisational level cause.

The Cook Brothers National Health and Safety Committee's solution was to revamp Worksafe's Take 5 concept into a Cook Brothers initiative called 'Reset'. A 'Reset' requires the team to step back and reassess the task when they notice something has changed occurring on-site after any break or at random. We aim for Reset to fully integrate into the Cook Brothers culture, with our team and trade partners acting on autopilot to stop and assess when a task changes.

Working alongside our Health and Safety team, People and Performance Manager Nat Fraser has worked with our team to support the Reset initiative. As the brain cannot act the same when an unexpected change occurs, Nat has illustrated this phenomenon through the Red Brain / Blue Brain concept. External stressors around us further impact our ability to react, explaining why we had seen increased incidents when first returning to work after the lockdown.

Practical health and safety initiatives are the most effective when dealing with tangible learners, so the national Reset training featured a roadshow with team-based competitions, quizzes and activities. Our teams completed time pressure activities sparking a Red Brain response, then a slower-paced challenge and engaging the blue brain. Each activity validated the Reset concept, emphasising the importance of accurate and effective choices made with time and an engaged blue brain.

From here, our team continue to instil Reset into all facets of culture at Cook Brothers. Prompted after break times on-site and used in pre-starts and toolbox talks, we hope that our Trade Partners, clients, and Cook Brothers Construction family pick up the Reset concept to create a safer, more robust project environment.