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Aggreko: Leading Safety Program

This case study investigates the partnership between Astutis and Aggreko and the improvements that have followed. It focuses on the online training of IOSH Leading Safety and how we engineered a course tailored just for Aggreko. 

November 2021


IOSH Leading Safely

Aggreko is the global leader in temporary power, heating and cooling. They operate in line with four key values: Be Together, Be Expert, Be Dynamic and Be Innovative. It's these values that drive Aggreko’s commitment to stringent safety standards across all their operations – protecting their employees, customers and local communities. 

After reviewing recent incidents and commissioning a safety culture survey, Aggreko decided to advance their front line safety management by implementing a learning program for its 600+ managers and supervisors.


  • Increase engagement and awareness of the safety responsibilities and expectations of Aggreko managers and supervisors.
  • Raise the profile and importance of safety on the front line.
  • Give managers and supervisors the skills to lead safety and have the confidence to have safety conversations with staff who aren’t acting safely.
  • Make sure managers and their teams are working the Aggreko way in relation to safety.
  • Enable HSE managers to take a coaching/supporting role to help front line managers and supervisors carry out their safety management duties.
  • Prevent incidents that could result in injuries or fatalities.


Aggreko wanted to roll out the learning program to all 600+ front line managers and supervisors across the company.

Due to their global presence, it needed to be translated into 7 languages. It also needed to be flexible, accessible, easily understood and of high quality.

Some of the managers and supervisors were located in place with no internet access, so any online learning materials had to be available offline, too.

"Partnering with Astutis was easy. They listened and understood our objectives and were open and flexible to change” - Sam Baxter, Global Safety Learning Manager at Aggreko PLC

Developing 'Leading Safety'

Based on the scope and objectives provided by Aggreko, we designed a structured ‘Leading Safety’ program aimed at managers and supervisors.

The aims and objectives of the popular IOSH Managing Safely course was chosen as the basis for the program as it aligned with Aggreko’s audience and aims. But, to make the course specific to Aggreko, it had to be condensed to focus on the areas most relevant to front line staff, and tailored to reflect Aggreko’s own policies, procedures and values.

We took the general concepts from IOSH Managing Safely and looked at them from a manager or supervisors point of view, asking the question

..."What do I need to know to ensure my team and I get home safely, and how do I do this at Aggreko?”...

Aggreko’s managers and supervisors already had a basic understanding of health and safety. Aggreko wanted to make sure that they also had the leadership skills to influence behaviour and improve safety culture. As such, it was important that the learning program had a 360o approach to employee development.

To achieve this, we designed the learning experience based around the 70/20/10 methodology, which breaks down in proportion how people learn effectively. This combined a structured core learning (10%), relationship and interaction based learning (20%), and on the job learning (70%).

The learning program included elements of online, face-to-face sessions and practical, hands-on activities.

Face-to face sessions were to be led by Aggreko HSE managers to create a complete business-wide approach to the learning program. This required extra coaching to these individuals to help them confidently deliver the sessions and coach their own staff.

"Together, Aggreko and Astutis created an innovative and engaging learning intervention combining dynamic online learning and coaching to maximise both effectiveness and efficiency." - Sam Baxter, Aggreko PLC

Creation and delivery of ‘Leading Safety’

‘Leading Safety’ was a multiphase, learning experience. To make sure each learner completed each part of the program on time, they were split into groups of 12-15. Each group started the learning program together and worked through it at the same time with clear deadlines for each part.

The program was split into 5 sections:

  1. An online introduction to the learning experience
  2. An online knowledge-building core covering key safety topics (10%)
  3. A coached face-to-face session to enable learners put into practise what they have learnt (20%)
  4. A workplace project providing a real-life, practical, on-the-job learning experience (70%).
  5. A summary and feedback opportunity to share and review the impact of the learning experience

Introductory video

The aim of the introduction was to motivate managers and supervisors to commit to the learning experience. It covered two themes:

  • The strategic importance of the ‘Leading Safety’ program and the expectation of managers and supervisors with a reminder of Aggreko values and safety concepts.
  • An outline of what the learning experience involves – structure, content, points of contact.

We worked with Aggreko's internal communication team to script the video, making sure the corporate values were properly communicated. Our multimedia team filmed the video at Aggreko's UK offices using high quality green screen equipment.

The video featured the CEO of Aggreko to show the importance of the learning program as well as relevant imagery, such as Aggreko's Orange Rules icons, and extracts from the course.

Online bite-size modules

This section focused on building Aggreko’s managers and supervisors' core knowledge of safety management principles and how to put these principles into practice at Aggreko. The six modules were based around the content from IOSH Managing Safely and covered:

  • Safety, why bother?
  • Accidents
  • Risk management
  • Common hazards for Aggreko
  • Management systems and the manager role
  • Human factors and safety behaviour

These topics let us explore why safety is important, what can happen when things go wrong, and why.

The initial modules gave context for proactively managing risks and the importance of identifying hazards, while the following content led into the wider Aggreko management system. Learners explored the role of the manager and supervisor and how to interact with people to encourage safe behaviours.

Each module had a multiple-choice assessment with constructive feedback on incorrect answers. Once all seven modules were completed, a final assessment covering all topics was taken to test overall understanding. Learners had to pass the assessment before they could progress to the next part of their learning program; the face-to-face sessions.

After completing the online modules, learners gained a core level of knowledge of safety management concepts. They also understood Aggreko’s values, expectations, procedures and systems in relations to these concepts.

Course creation

For flexibility, the knowledge building modules were delivered online. Our team of subject matter experts, learning designers and multimedia developers created the modules in-house using the market leading Articulate Rise platform to host the course.

Each module was 10 minutes long and included text, imagery, simple interaction and video/animation. To help with translation, we kept the amount of text and complex technical language to a minimum, and used images to demonstrate concepts.

The modules were designed so that they looked ‘Aggreko made’, including brand colours, fonts and logos. They were all SCORM compliant, meaning they could be placed into Aggreko’s existing LMS platform.

The online modules were accessible on a range of devices. We also provided Aggreko with an offline version of each module, to help learners that were in remote locations and didn’t have any internet access.

"Working with Aggreko to create and deliver a blended learning experience that enabled managers and supervisors to change their safety behaviour was rewarding…even more so when the programme was translated from English into 7 languages, making it a truly global learning experience." - Brenig Moore, Technical Director at Astutis

Coached, Face-to-Face Session

After completing the online modules, learners were encouraged to put their knowledge and understanding into practice in a one-day group session. An Aggreko HSE manager led the session so they could emphasise the importance of the program, create a business-wide approach to safety, and boost relationships.

The session was split into two parts. During the first, the group studied incidents based on Aggreko case studies. They explored how these incidents occurred and how they could have been prevented. Specifically, they looked at the measures that managers and supervisors could have taken to prevent unsafe actions.

The group also recapped on how accidents happen along with a review of hazard identification and risk assessment. This acted as a knowledge checking exercise to reinforce the learning outcomes of the online modules.

The second part of the day centred on the leadership role of the manager and supervisor. They looked at how they can shape their teams approach and attitude to safety through observation, engagement, intervention, positive reinforcement and leading by example. This acted as a reinforcement of Aggreko’s expectations of managers and supervisors, and their responsibilities for safety.

The day ended with instruction on the workplace project that each learner had to complete in the next stage of the program.

Preparing HSE Managers to Deliver Coached Face-to-Face Sessions

A key aspect of the success of this program was the ability and confidence of the HSE managers to deliver the coached face-to-face session, and oversee the workplace assessment exercise.

To help with this, we arranged a coach development program to make sure they understood how the program worked and were confident in their ability to coach, encourage and develop the managers and supervisors who were part of the leading safety programme.

The coach development program was split into two parts. First, the HSE managers went through the 'Leading Safety' program themselves. They completed the online modules, took part in a face-to-face session led by one of Astutis’ lead consultants, and completed the workplace assessment. This was to make sure they could relate to the learners and understood exactly what and how they were learning.

They then took part in a face-to-face session on how to be a coach for the managers and supervisors. The session covered coaching techniques and best practice, followed by a practice delivery of parts of the program with feedback on their performance. At the end of the session, we provided HSE managers with an annotated delivery hand book to refer to as guidance while running the live classes.

Workplace Project

Learners undertook a work based project as the final stage of the ‘Leading Safety’ learning program. Astutis worked with Aggreko’s senior HSE team to define the scope of the project to make sure the focus aligned with their core HSE objectives.

The project was based on the learner proactively identifying unsafe acts or behaviours in their place of work. They then had to show that they engaged with the team member and took personal responsibility to see through any necessary actions.

Learners were given a pro-forma that allowed them to document:

  • What they saw
  • What action they took
  • What effect their actions had
  • What happened  next

Having gathered this information, the learner attended a 1-1 with their HSE manager to discuss and check their actions. Where possible, the HSE managers also helped the learner take steps to further reduce any identified risks.

Ultimately, the HSE manager was responsible for signing off the learner’s project before handing it to the line manager for a final review. On successful sign off of the project, the learner had completed the program.

To help learners, we created a short video using animation that explained the requirements of the workplace project. HSE managers showed the video at the end of the face-to-face session while going through the project. Learners were also provided a copy to refer to at any time.

Summary and Feedback

A critical element of the program was a summary video that mirrored the introduction, again featuring the CEO. The aim of this was to recap on the lessons learnt and reinforce the manager and supervisor responsibilities and expectations. It also congratulated learners on completing the program and inspired them to put in place what they have learnt.

"The overall learning experience is being very well received within our business" - Sam Baxter, Aggreko PLC

Project Management

Astutis’ approach to delivering large scale projects such as this is to work in collaboration with the client. The program was overseen by our project management team which was made up of our:

  • Technical Director
  • Learning Experience and Project Manager
  • Senior HSE Consultant
  • International Account Manager

Astutis and Aggreko worked in a joined up effort to make sure delivery was on time, to budget and to specification.

A project plan was created with clear deadlines for each deliverable from both parties. Before any online or offline materials were created, we developed storyboards, scripts and detailed lesson plans for approval. This helped make sure that both parties were happy before further work was done. At all stages, Astutis updated Aggreko on progress and requested regular honest feedback.

"The design, development and delivery of the Aggreko Leading Safety programme was an exciting and challenging project. It enabled the Astutis team to make the most of their safety and health expertise, their learning design and development experience, and their project management skills." - Brenig Moore, Astutis

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We're always there for our customers. 98% of our learners rated their overall experience as good or outstanding. We will always pride ourselves on our customer service. But don’t take our word for it, here is what our customers have to say
  • "The "Managing Safely" course typically covers various topics such as risk assessment, hazard identification, accident investigation, legal responsibilities, and implementing control measures. It aims to enhance my understanding of health and safety management systems and empower me to create a safer working environment. By completing the course last week , I gained valuable insights into best practices for managing safety in the workplace, which can benefit both me and my organization."

  • "Perfect training: The "Managing Safely" course with Astutis seems to have provided me with valuable knowledge and skills for improving health and safety management in the workplace."

  • "Tutor new subject well and help in any way he could so we understand the different sections"

  • "Interesting and informative"

  • "There was no need to use the customer service as the course instructions were clear"

  • "It was a good course, as I had not completed an exam for such a long time I found this challenging, it would have been helpful that there was more focus on how to structure the answers"

  • "The course was good overall. Online classes can be difficult and I much prefer the classroom experience but due to circumstances and availability online was the option chosen. FSC1 was very good with lots of interaction. But no forward planning or discussion was given to FSC2. Because of a lot of experience in the fire industry and risk assessments I carried on without giving the question enough scrutiny which meant a refer and a costly resit. 5 minutes of discussion and forward planning for FSC2 would have avoided that. All that said I’m aware I took it too lightly."

  • "A good online course, with good interaction. Be positive and be part of it. Some people sit quietly by that wouldn’t happen in a classroom. Ask questions and understand, everything is there for you."

  • "Great learning experience! Astutis was there every step of the way!"

  • "Actually purchased through my company - they selected a great partner"