Evidence Case Study: Olympic Delivery Authority 

This content is part of the Vision for the Public Sector Zone 

 The following case study was provided as part of the evidence for the effectiveness of employee engagement strategies in improving performance, productivity and, in the private sector profitability.  It has been used cumulatively with other submissions compiled by many leading companies and organisations to leave little room for doubt about the statistical importance of engaging employees.

This particular case study is an additional support to The Evidence Paper


The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) was responsible for building the main permanent venues and infrastructure on the Olympic Park. Construction began on the Olympic Stadium in May 2008, followed by the initiation of construction on the other venues and supporting infrastructure on the rest of the Olympic Park.


By June 2011, the ODA had recorded around 62 million man-hours worked with an Accident Frequency Rate of 0.17 per 100,000 hours worked. This was less than half of the construction industry average of 0.4 accidents per 100,000 hours. A number of items were identified that were central to the delivery of the health and safety successes on the Olympic Park.

  • Strategic narrativeFrom the very beginning of the London 2012 construction project, the ODA and the Delivery Partner (DP) collectively established a strong and clear statement of vision and purpose regarding health and safety. This vision incorporated health, safety and well-being, and placed safety at the “forefront of thinking and concern.”
  • Having a clear vision in place was very important to leaders, but so was an ability to put that vision into practice through the deliberate engagement of a range of levers and approaches.
  • Engaging managers – Project leaders were encouraged to engage with the supply chain and develop a collaborative, mutually responsible, challenging and learning culture. In addition to engaging these key managers, they also cultivated an environment that positively encouraged challenge in support of the safety culture.
  • Employee voice – Effective communication both up and down the chain of command was achieved through the use of a variety of methods (induction, daily pre-task briefings, meetings, posters, safety alerts, anonymous near miss reporting) and constant reinforcement. The collection, review and analysis of data enabled the identification of trends, problem spotting, and the discussion of how health and safety could be improved.
  • Organisational integrity – There was an espoused willingness to shut work down if standards were not met. In fact, there were several occasions when work was stopped until it was believed that there was clarity over standards and they were satisfied with compliance. Shutting a job down was a powerful way of delivering the message that the ODA and DP were serious about health and safety, and in driving changes in behaviour.
  • Behavioural safety initiatives sought to engage workers with health and safety, and make safety personal to them. These were supported by reward and recognition programmes to encourage safe working; thus demonstrating the ODA and DP meant what they said about safety.

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