Safety Dimensions worked with Ducab (the Dubai Cable Company – a leading manufacturer of cabling), assisting them in enhancing their HSE culture via a Behavioural Based Safety (BBS) program.

Ducab’s intention was to exceed mere compliance with the required standards and to achieve international best practices.

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The challenges faced by Ducab are both physical and cultural in nature. Physically, the average temperature in summer of 40°C+, is compounded not only by levels of humidity in excess of 60%, but also by the presence of aluminium and copper furnaces on site. Culturally, the workforce is as diverse as the wider Dubai population, with most originating from highly hierarchical societies that are characterised by a significant power distance in relationships.

Power distance is a term that describes how people belonging to a specific cultural group view power relationships between people, including the degree to which people not in power positions perceive and/or accept that power is spread unequally.


Although the cultural backgrounds of Ducab’s workforce do indeed constitute a challenge in establishing, implementing and maintaining an effective BBS program, the same also provides a solid foundation on which to build. Whilst this may seem somewhat paradoxical, although the sense of power distance is significant, so is the importance of team and community to the workforce – this is the strength that has already contributed to Ducab’s success, and this is the strength on which the roll-out of the BBS program is being based. Indeed the Australian mindset of looking after your mates is a reasonable comparison. The main difference, however, is the perceptions associated with hierarchical relationships, and the manner of communication that is associated with it.

To establish a solid safety culture, these four areas must synergise to engage the hearts and minds of leaders, managers, supervisors and employees. Neglecting any of these aspects not only leads to recurring incidents but also generates frustration and fear within the workforce. In severe cases, it can result in injuries or even fatalities.

Consider the following statements – do they stem from Values, Beliefs, Mindset, or Attitude?

  • “It won’t happen to me.”
  • “This shortcut will save time.”
  • “I’ll face consequences if I pause.”
  • “This is how it’s always been done.”
  • “I need extra protection to do my job.”
  • “Someone else will address what I’ve noticed.”
  • “We narrowly avoided a disaster.”

If your organisation has implemented tools and systems without seeing improvements in safety culture or statistics, the missing link could be the integration of VBMA’s (Values, Beliefs, Mindset, Attitude). A critical aspect that complements these elements is role modelling. Leaders must exemplify the attributes they wish to see in their team members and consistently uphold their words with actions. Without this alignment, attempting to induce change in others becomes an exercise in futility.

Fortunately, transforming VBMA’s and thereby engaging Hearts and Minds doesn’t have to be an arduous endeavour. A well-structured safety training program can efficiently drive this transformation across your organisation.

Recognising the importance of this approach, LDN prioritises working with leaders to cultivate Hearts and Minds before implementing any safety leadership programme across the entire organisation. Our goal is to tailor Hearts and Minds programs to the unique challenges and potential of each organisation, ensuring a bespoke approach that yields tangible results.


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