Best Members' Collaboration Awards Entry: COMET and Peel Ports

Award Nomination:

COMET and Peel Ports have collaborated successfully to deliver a series of connected activities designed to develop both the safety culture at the business and the skills & knowledge of those who are responsible for being an active part of it. 

COMET were delighted to be contacted by the HSE Leadership function at Peel Ports as part of a review into safety culture and performance across their UK and Irish Ports, and following positive discussions 3 phases of activity were agreed. All aligned to COMET’s 3D’s model (detailed below) for sustained cultural improvement. 

Skills development was very much at the heart of the COMET/Peel Ports collaboration, Peel Ports take staff development very seriously and given the size and complexity of their cumulative operations knew that content needed to be immediately relevant and contextual to each target audience and delivered efficiently with real impact.   

In order to achieve the feedback and uplift that the investment made by Peel Ports deserved the collaboration had to really know where opportunities for improvement lay, so prior to any design and delivery work being undertaken a full health & safety cultural review was done at each Port to see life at Peel through the eyes of three broad stakeholder groups – Leadership, Supervision, and Operatives. 

This intensive activity proved to be pivotal to achieving what followed, and is part of a more detailed review of the project that follows… 

Additional Information:

COMET have learned through many years of application that in order to effect lasting performance improvement you must first understand what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to the influences that affect culture and morale.  Change that comes as a surprise is rarely welcomed and is often challenged in a Port environment by a range of stakeholder groups.   

Peel Ports already knew this and worked with COMET to pull together a range of activity that required both partners to work together closely to achieve the desired project outcomes.  These were structured in the 3D’s model that was briefly mentioned above: 


Looking at numbers simply isn’t enough – a ‘deep dive’ health check was commissioned across the business (every Port) to talk to a large cross section of the people the business employs, to observe operations across day and night shifts, and to review the all-important documentation and processes that make up the SSOW designed to keep people safe and secure. 

It was structured around the spectrum of organisational root cause so that positive and negative influences affecting each could be explored, evidenced and presented alongside achievable improvement measures: 

C – Communication (verbal, written, formal, informal, etc) 

O – Operating Environment (roads, sheds, amenities, yards, etc) 

M – Management (systems, processes, standards, etc) 

E – Equipment (PPE, tools, mobile plant, cranes etc) 

T – Training (provision, quality, relevance, competence, etc) 

The results were presented live to a receptive Peel Ports Executive, and the business accelerated a number of activities to help reach new standards in its Safety Culture.  COMET was commissioned to take a lead in the people development space, instigating the other ‘D’s in our process: 


Review findings, real Peel scenarios, blended learning tools (such as the creation of custom port animations), and best practice activities were all in the mix as the collaboration set about creating three L&D experiences that would serve the business in its efforts to be class leading in its safety culture. 

Nobody was left out: 

  • Senior leadership workshops were designed to ensure that leaders ‘walked the talk’. 
  • The Peel Ports branded SUPER/VISION programme was designed to develop key skills and tools for the all-important Supervisory function who play such an important role in delivering key safety messages and absolutes for the business. 
  • Operative involvement was captured in the Peel Port’s branded 123, Safety & Me programme designed to create energy around personal safety leadership and a broader awareness of why safety is important. 

All utilise the proven Listen, Do, Discuss, Action methodology that COMET has fine-tuned over many years of experience, and all integrate existing Peel Ports safety tools and processes where appropriate.  This is about building on what was already in place, not replacing it. 


Delivery was properly planned, expertly supported by Peel Ports Admin teams and took place at each of the Ports who had contributed to the Cultural review.  What’s more, to ensure that Operative training is constantly available a Train-the-Trainer programme has been commissioned and run so that on-demand options are available going forwards. 

We look forward to the Operative Training roll-out in 2024 and beyond. 

All scheduled training has been delivered as planned – demonstrating Peel Ports commitment, and feedback is shared and discussed regularly to keep striving for further improvement.   

Successful collaboration only happens when all partners are aligned on a common goal, have resource to fulfil their obligations, and are committed to see the process through.  Peel Ports were an exemplary partner and deserve big recognition in this application, they were honest, clear that they wanted the truth and nothing sugar coated, and were a constant source of information that made the development of the L&D programmes that followed right for the respective target audiences.