Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™

Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™

Costain Ltd. Achieves Behavioral Safety Re-accreditation

The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™ has been proud to publicly recognize Costain Ltd. as a best-in-practice application of behavioral science for safety.  In its initial Accreditation it recognized the many strengths of Costain’s program and made recommendations for continued enhancement.  During the Re-Accreditation process reviewers noted both progress pertaining to these recommendations and gained further insight into the strengths that make Costain’s behavioral safety program world-class and worthy of Accreditation.  Specific evidence of strengths from the current review includes the following.


  • Costain’s historical corporate injury rate, including incidents within it contractor workforce, shows a sustained decrease over 14 years corresponding to various manifestations of behavioral safety programs.
  • Costain’s scorecard consisting of leading indicators for safety (i.e., CBS Ratio) is collected, monitored, and used throughout most of its operations with demonstrated integrity checks and accountability chains.  Costain’s count of observation-based reporting has risen approximately 75% from its initial Accreditation levels in 2011 to over 30,000 observations in 2014.  Observation performance is posted at every project site.
  • Leadership at Costain demonstrate visible and active support of its behavioral safety programs and have integrated behavioral terminology in their corporate lexicon while vigilantly monitoring observation metrics.  The behavioral safety program has grown into an overall behavioral management enterprise informally applying behavioral science into operations, organizational development, process safety, business system initiatives, and joint ventures.
  • Due to its size and business complexity, Costain is experiencing variance in its mid-level management support of behavioral safety.  This variance is being reduced through a strong mandated training program in behavioral management.
  • The Costain Behavioral Management Team represents a strategic asset for Costain with their expertise in behavioral management and their growing influence in the company.  This influence is having demonstrated business results within safety and beyond in leadership, operations, and within the supply chain.
  • Costain’s training program in behavioral safety is consistent with behavioral science, shapes learners through multiple modules and practice, uses gamification, and requires an applied demonstration of behavior change using pinpointing, contingency analysis, and data collection.  Everyone in Costain will complete the training. 
  • Costain’s observation system has been shaped to be effective within it complex mix of projects, specialties, supply chain, clients, and evolving worksites.  There is ample evidence that observations generate meaningful actions to mitigate hazards and risk.  Feedback is posted abundantly on observation rates and resulting actions thereby strongly reinforcing the process.
  • The safety culture at Costain is exemplified in consistent and positive comments generated from its contracted operative workforce.  It is evident to the reviewers that the workforce perceives that Costain cares about their wellbeing due to its willingness to listen, train their managers to use positive reinforcement while correcting problems in a positive manner, be consistent in their safety management systems, and encourage engagement.

The Commission on Behavioral Safety Accreditation recognizes that its Accredited companies are leaders in the application of behavioral science in industry. These companies are in an excellent position to enhance our understanding of applied behavioral science while innovating new tools and processes within behavioral safety. 

Accreditation Decision

The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™’ Commission on Behavioral Safety Accreditation considered Costain’s application for Re-Accreditation and accompanying review on Monday, January 12, 2015.  Based on data reflecting the exemplary safety performance of the company, and supported by observations during our visit to sample projects, Dr.’s Ludwig and Sigurdson made a recommendation to the Commission that COSTAIN, Ltd. be Re-Accredited for a period of three years.  This recommendation was (approved on January 14, 2015; unanimous). 

The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™ Re-Accredits COSTAIN’s Behavioral Safety program for three years (February 2015 – March 2018).