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Research & Development

Research, evaluation and innovation are essential to advancing current capabilities, whether this relates to staff performance, organisational capability, adoption of new technology, communication of key messages or behaviour change.

  • Problems may endure in the absence of a valid understanding of their causes. New problems cannot be solved without understanding their size, nature and characteristics.
  • Communication campaigns may fail if they do not get at the root causes of behaviour or fail to target people who are most at risk. Messages may be interpreted differently to how they are intended.
  • New automated technology may have unintended consequences such as de-skilling people.
  • The effectiveness of systems that are rarely used, such as public emergency alert systems, will not be revealed by real world experience until it is too late to fix any problems.
  • Optimism bias may cause the benefits of new ideas to be over estimated and the costs to be understated. Schemes may fail due to unforeseen complications. Successful pilot schemes may fail once scaled up if the success factors have not been determined.
  • We live in an ever more complicated and data rich world, with perpetual demands to do more for less and to achieve new objectives.

Insightful research can reveal people’s behavioural motivations and so help develop truly effective interventions and systems. Well known behaviours may be seen in a new light, challenging the established view on how best to influence attitudes and behaviours.

Research is to see what everybody else has seen,
and to think what nobody else has thought.
– Albert Szent-Györgyi

The causes and factors underlying people’s or organisational performance and behaviour can be discovered, enabling an evidence-based approach to developing innovative options. Understanding people’s perceptions and awareness of issues allows communications to be framed effectively.

Piloting and experimentation helps test and refine ideas before they are hardened up and trialled or implemented on a larger scale.

Evaluation helps assess if something has worked. It also helps to understand why something has worked and informs plans on how best to roll out or scale up trial schemes. It may also show that a scheme is ineffective and should be discontinued.

Research and Development

GSB services

At GSB we have always prided ourselves on our involvement in cutting edge research and development.

We operate at the applied end of research – understanding real world problems, developing solutions for implementation and evaluating outcomes of new ideas. Our work is driven by the need to develop cost-effective ways of achieving new requirements.

We focus on behavioural, human and organisational performance. We have specialist expertise in safety, health, stress, wellbeing and risk related behaviours, ranging from corporate organisational behaviour, through staff performance to behaviour of people when at home, at leisure or whilst travelling.

We draw on psychology, social science, data modelling and Human Factors to provide new insights and robust evidence. As psychologists and Human Factors experts we focus on behavioural, organisational and human performance issues.

Our research has underpinned the development and implementation of many national level initiatives, regulations, campaigns and policies, as well as provided guidance and tools for use by businesses.

Some of our core subject areas

  • Organisational safety culture
  • Human Factors of safety & security
  • Human performance
  • Organisational reliability & performance
  • Organisational change
  • Crisis and emergency response
  • Health, stress and wellbeing
  • Business regulation & compliance behaviour
  • Safety and health behaviour at home, at leisure and whilst travelling
  • Risk communication

Our services

Our research often culminates with new guidance, tools and communications materials.

our services

What is special about Greenstreet Berman

  • Our psychological and Human Factors expertise allows us to understand the behaviour of people and organisations
  • We bridge the transition from research to application – solutions oriented
  • We are experts in applied research & evaluation – providing practical and realistic outcomes
  • We deliver robust policy-oriented outputs, adding value to initiatives
  • We adopt good practice standards in research, ethics and data protection
  • We are Recognised experts in our chosen areas
  • We have extensive private and public sector experience

Examples of our research topics

Organisational safety culture

We have researched models of organisational culture, compared assessment methods, synthesised models of culture, developed, piloted and validated safety culture assessment tools. As part of this we have explored if and how culture varies between safety domains, and how to trace the roots of organisational culture back to their wider business context and drivers.

A Tool to Diagnose Culture in Food Business Operators
Developing a practical self assessment tool for measuring and managing safety culture
Safety Critical Rule Compliance Toolkit
BAE Systems: developing a framework for assessing workplace & product safety culture in BAE Systems
Achieving compliance through people: training supervisors to tackle procedural non-compliance
A review of behavioural safety schemes in the UK

Human and organisational reliability and performance

We have conducted leading edge research into how to improve human and organisational performance, particularly with respect to major accident prevention and safety critical operations. This covers a wide range of topics, from training, through competence assessment to organisational design. Our work has underpinned authoritative guidance.

Managing driver managers
Multiskilling: Implications for safe operations
Organisational drift – a challenge for enduring safety performance
Impacts to diagnostic procedures and treatment as a result of Catheter Laboratory staff being multi-skilled after completing the Graduate Certification in Adult Cardiac Catheter Practice
Competence assessment and major accident prevention
Preventing the propagation of error and misplaced reliance on faulty systems: A guide to human error dependency
Human Factors good practice guide to managing alarms and alerts
Lessons from High Hazard Industries for Healthcare
Rail Vehicle Maintenance

Health and safety at home, at leisure and when travelling

We have completed many studies into the health and safety attitudes and behaviours of people when at home, at leisure or when travelling. As part of this we have helped to identify and profile people most at risk, identified high risk behaviours and the social, educational, demographic and experiential factors underlying behaviours. This work has been used to develop national public health and safety campaigns, and to evaluate and improve public initiatives in areas such as fire in the home, drowning, exercise, diet, smoking cessation and accidents in the home.

Understanding people's attitudes towards fire risk
Assessing inland accidental drowning risk
Evaluation of the Home Fire Safety Checks
A statistical report to investigate the effectiveness of the furniture and furnishings (fire) (safety) regulations 1988
Risk assessment decision making tool for building control bodies
Food safety behaviours in the home
Evaluation of the Arson Prevention Programme
Final Evaluation of the Home Fire Risk Check Grant and Fire Prevention Grant Programmes - Fire Research Series 2/2009
Analysis of fire and rescue service performance and outcomes with reference to population socio-demographics – Fire Research Series 9/2008
Testing draft recommendations on weight management during pregnancy and after childbirth (2010)
Fieldwork on quitting smoking in pregnancy and childbirth (2009-2010)
Fieldwork to evaluate draft recommendations on the Promotion of Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace (2008-2009)
Unintentional injuries: prevention strategies for under 15s
Fieldwork on reducing the differences in the uptake of immunisations (including targeted vaccines) in children and young people aged under 19 years (2008-2009)
Fieldwork to evaluate recommendations for Physical Activity and Active Play among Children and Young People (2008)
Fieldwork on Physical Activity in the Workplace (2008)

Promoting business regulatory compliance

We have researched how business perceive safety and environmental regulation, and how best to promote self-compliance through responsive regulation.

Targeting higher risk businesses and simplifying local regulation by shared intelligence and common assessment: research results
Business perspectives on approaches to securing compliance
Six SME case studies that demonstrate the business benefit of effective management of occupational health and safety
Case studies that identify and exemplify boards of directors who provide leadership and direction on occupational health and safety
Development of a SME version for the corporate health and safety performance index
Review of targeted initiatives in the manufacturing sector
The use of civil sanctions to enforce building regulations
An evidence based evaluation of how best to secure compliance with health and safety law
Development of a SME version of the corporate health and safety performance index
Evaluation of EPS and enforcement action
Workers’ Safety Adviser (WSA) challenge fund evaluation
Health and safety responsibilities of company directors and management board members: 2001, 2003 and 2005 surveys
Leading indicators for assessing reduction in risk of long latency diseases

Risk assessment and risk communication

We have led the development of new ways of assessing risk and how to communicate risk. This has included developing and trialling risk rating schemes and quantitative forms of risk rating to a diverse range of hazards such as civil contingencies, building design and construction, dynamic risk assessment of emergency response tasks, clinical error, public fire risk and road traffic collisions. These methods have been used as part of regulatory processes, planning emergency response resources and safety improvement. On occasions this has also involved developing innovative ways of communicating risk to the public, drawing on graphical and benchmark methods of risk communication.

Communication of uncertainty
Improving flood warning awareness in low probability and medium – high consequence zones
Developing the evidence base for flood resistance and resilience
Building Control Risk Assessment Tool
Fire Service Emergency Cover Toolkit major incidents risk assessment module
Prospective Hazard analysis: tailoring prospective methods to a healthcare context
Evaluation options for Fire and Rescue Service fire safety activities – Fire Research Report 5/2010
Guide to risk assessment tools, techniques and data - Fire Research Series 5/2009
Evidence based evaluation of the scale of disproportionate decisions on risk assessment and management
Local Target Setting: the development of a risk based model and toolkit for the fire and rescue service – Fire Research Series 4/2008
Risk assessment tools, techniques and data for the Civil Contingencies Act and Integrated Risk Management Planning – Fire Research Series 5/2008