Frozen Foods Cool Injury Rates!
Birds Eye frozen Foods facility reduces Lost-Time Injuries by 65% and minor Injuries by 21% in the first 12 months of implementing B-Safe®, the 'blue chip' Behavior Based Safety process.
Unilever’s Birds Eye frozen food factory in Grimsby experienced a high number of lost-time injuries in the mid-nineteen nineties. These were mostly related to the unsafe behavior of part-time and seasonal staff. Committted to reducing the injury rate, the company searched for a company with the appropriate expertise in behavioral safety and chose B-Safe®.
The project began with ‘buy-in’ sessions with 750 employees to ‘sell & tell’ the process. A plant project team were then trained to implement the process over a five day period. This covered the underlying principles of behavioral safety, checklist development, managerial alignment, training observers, goal-setting, feedback, and data entry & analysis.
Unsafe behaviors were obtained from analysis of the previous two years incident records and developed into ‘Behavioral Observation Checklists’ of safe behaviors for 23 observation areas in 8 departments.
Twenty-three volunteer observers were recruited and trained to use the checklists, give feedback and set targets with their workgroups. The observers monitored their colleagues in the plant areas for 10-20 minutes a day for four weeks, to find out how safe people worked.
Each workgroup then set an improvement target. Observers continued to monitor daily and gave feedback when observing people and at weekly feedback meetings. The project team followed up any corrective actions, the status of which was reported back to the workgroups. This cycle of events was repeated every 30 weeks or so.
As behavior improved, Lost-time injuries correspondingly reduced by 65%. Minor injuries also fell by 21%. By year 5, lost-time injuries had reduced by a massive 85% and minor injuries by 40%.
The plant was awarded a Unilever gold award for improving its safety record from the Chairman in 2000 as it turned in the best safety performance results of the worldwide Unilever group. B-Safe®was expanded to other Unilever frozen food sites that also reduced their Total Reportable Incident Rates (TRIR) in the first year by 32 percent and 52 percent by year 4.
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