Story telling scenarios

Our organisational safety culture appraisal tool (OSCAT) uses scenario based story-telling to obtain information about an organisations safety culture.

Five workplace scenarios have been developed to guide the story-telling within the organisational safety culture appraisal interviews. The scenarios were developed based on expert input and literature review, in particular, the UK Health and Safety Executive's Safety Culture Inspection Toolkit.

The scenario-based approach has the following benefits:

  • Links questions and responses to real events.
  • Increased likelihood of obtaining true (honest) responses.
  • Over-generalising is reduced.
  • Reduced likelihood of bias towards overly positive or overly negative responses.

Descriptions of the scenarios and scenario questions are outlined below.

1 - Safety concern identified

This scenario is designed to reveal information about what management do when a safety concern is reported to them and what frontline staff do when they have a safety concern.

Scenario questions

Describe a recent time when you identified a safety concern.

  • What was it?
  • How did you raise it / report it?
  • How was it addressed / managed?
  • What was the outcome?

Download the Scenario 1 data collection sheet DOC, 73.0 KB

2 - Non-routine / degraded operations

This scenario is designed to reveal information about the emphasis that management place on safety compared to operational performance and how this is communicated to operational staff. It should indicate whether a commitment to safety is reflected in actual behaviour during the situation.

Scenario questions

Describe a recent time when you were involved in a situation that was non-routine or out of the ordinary in some way. This could be an incident, a delay or a situation that required activities that were outside the normal way in which things are done.

  • What was the situation?
  • Why did it occur?
  • What was the sequence of events?
  • Who was involved?
  • What was your involvement in the situation?

Download the Scenario 2 data collection sheet DOC, 49.0 KB

3 - Incident management

This scenario is designed to reveal information about the actions taken by management to investigate the underlying causes of an incident and the implement actions to address the issues. It should also reveal information about the involvement of operational staff in the investigation and disciplinary process.

Scenario questions

Describe a recent safety incident that you were involved in. For example Signal Passed at Danger (SPAD), derailment, misroute, maintenance error, and so on.

  • What happened?
  • Who was involved?
  • How was it identified and reported?
  • Who identified and reported it?
  • How was it investigated?
  • Who investigated it?
  • What mitigation actions were taken?

Download the Scenario 3 data collection sheet DOC, 56.0 KB

4 - Change management

This scenario is designed to reveal information about how changes are managed, how management involve operational staff in the change process and the extent to which staff are consulted and involved in safety related decisions.

Scenario questions

Describe a recent change that has occurred, relevant to your role. For example, new equipment, new system / procedure, change to workplace, change to organisational structure, etc.

  • What was the change?
  • What was the reason for the change?
  • Who was involved in planning / preparing for the change?
  • How was it implemented?
  • How was the impact monitored?

Download the Scenario 4 data collection sheet DOC, 52.0 KB

5 - Safety management

This scenario should reveal information about how safety is managed within the organisation. It should reflect perceptions of management commitment to safety and staff awareness about how safety is managed.

Scenario question

  • Describe how senior and middle management manage safety.

Download the Scenario 5 data collection sheet DOC, 58.5 KB