min read

Preventing Falls with Pink Walls

Overbury, the UK’s leading office fit out & refurbishment specialist, has been delivering fit outs and office refurbishments for the past 75 years. Since 1942, they've led the industry on quality and innovation to deliver excellence.

In January 2017, the Management Team made a strategic decision to make a step change in Site Safety and Operative Engagement and deliver a truly ‘world class’ Health, Safety and Wellbeing environment for their employees, partners and customers.

Behavioural audit



New product innovation

In a behavioural audit, Cowry identified that when Working at Height (WAH) or when in the the process of Material Movement (MM), the construction workers would take up to 7 unnecessary risks eg. not locking the wheels on equipment they were using. The construction workers had a high propensity to take risks and displayed ‘macho’ behaviour which was reinforced by the fact that other workers like them did the same and they had done it a lot of times without coming to any harm so far.

Behavioural design

Cowry redesigned the environment the workers relaxed in, created a new reward scheme to reinforce good behaviours and promoted good behaviour by getting workers to be the Health and Safety Officer for a day, advising their fellow workers.


We painted the walls in the canteen ’Drunk Tank Pink’ to reduce testosterone levels in the young male workers

Loss aversion-1

Loss Aversion
Workers lost the chance to win weekly prize draws


Consistency Principle
They told workers how to behave & had to follow suit

Behavioural intervention

82% reduction in unsafe behaviours when Working at Height
92% reduction in unsafe behaviours for Material Movement

p-score = 1 in 69 chance due to chance and 1 in 4,885 chance due to chance respectively

Award 1

We’re delighted to have won the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Initiative of the Year award at the Association for Project Safety’s National CDM Awards 2018.

award 2

We also received the International Safety Award in 2019, for our work on improving construction site safety with Overbury.


Testament to the success of Cowry’s interventions, Overbury have committed to include at least one Baker Miller pink wall in every site as part of their Site Safety Standards.


We have invested heavily in this because we believed it would work. The lessons we have learned here can be applied to any project size, and don’t require a large financial investment to see a significant change. Knowing our initiatives have helped the site operatives feel better at work and reduce unsafe behaviours is priceless.”

Sarah Piddington, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Overbury

Want to find out more?

We’d love to chat to you about how to start applying behavioural science - book a slot below to catch up with Jez and find out more.