Safety: Change In Behavior

Recently, our Nashville Burg shut down their jobs for one afternoon and invited all coworkers to a fish fry. They were celebrating 1 year and 355,000 man-hours with no recordables. This was not an easy task and it took their entire Burg to undertake or make a behavior shift.

About 18 months ago, Area Lead, Chris Dittman decided action was required due to reoccurring incidents, so he engaged the Operation Managers and Project Leads in a series of meetings. They looked at total company safety information, their Burg relative to others and revisited the root causes to their incidents. Due to their constant work in rocky terrain, they had a lot of ankle and knee injuries. They came up with the following scheme to address their issues:

They agreed to add extra attention and planning to logistics and material flow, including how to address terrain issues.

They created transparency across their Burg. This meant all job site observations, root causes, near hits and corrective actions were going to be shared across all project teams.

This approach created a learning environment where they could see what others were doing and it eventually got to the point where they didn’t want to let anyone down. Good or bad…. job site observations were blasted out. People got comfortable with the information shared amongst their peers. Additionally, Territory Safety Lead, Travis Powell sent out all observations weekly to Operations and Project Leads.

This information started to have a proactive affect. People started to self-report near hits and teams were conducting their own job site observations. By December of 2017, 33% of the entire company near hits came from the Nashville Burg, they identified potential hazards and self-reported.

To keep their momentum, they realized they needed to get the craft coworkers more involved. They implemented self-observations. Each week, every project rotated a field coworker to do a safety walk. The expectation was to write down safety observations with photos and then submit to the Project Lead for review. Some observations became near hits and some were shared in the daily planning meeting the next day with the craft. These self-observations were also shared with other teams if they were performing the same type of work.

The last piece of this involved the Burg’s interactions with the Territory Safety Lead, Travis Powell. Travis performed formal job site observations twice a month on every job. He discussed these observations with Dittman during weekly meetings. With his observations, he identified which jobs/teams were critical and needed attention. Travis also attended the weekly operations meetings. They went through his observations and identified trends. They collectively decided on corrective actions.

This huge accomplishment was made possible due to the participation and buy-in from the entire Burg. Many of the Senior Project Leads and Operation Managers took this very seriously and set an expectation for their teams. In return, the younger workers observed their actions and took to it very quickly.

Categories: Safety Spotlight