Refining Safety Performance!
A Nickel refinery reduces its OSHA lost-time incident rate by 82% during the first year of B-Safe®.
A Nickel refinery had created a site-wide ‘safety charter team’ of employees and managers to examine the safety practices in the plant. They recommended the use of Behavior-based safety to reduce their incident rates. They began with an observation card system, but this rapidly failed. They realized they needed to really involve employees in safety on a daily basis.
They visited many local steel and chemical plants to examine other 'behavior-based safety' processes in action. This is where they saw B-Safe® and heard about the dramatic results many of our clients were achieving.
After awarding a contract to B-Safe®, the process began with ‘buy-in’ sessions for all employees and contractors. To help ensure management support, a series of one-day managerial alignment events also took place.
A plant project team was appointed, all of whom were trained over 5 days in the B-Safe® process. This included background information on behavioral principles, incident analysis, checklist development, observer training, goal-setting, feedback, observation data-entry and analysis.
The project teams analyzed incident records for the previous two years to identify repeat unsafe behaviors. These were placed on ‘observation checklists’ for each of 27 observation areas. These were approved by the workforce prior to use by 113 trained observers.
Trained observers monitored people on the plant for 10-20 minutes a day for four weeks, to find out how safely people were working. Employees and the contractors involved then set themselves a safety improvement target to be achieved within six months. Observers continued to monitor daily and gave feedback when observing people and at weekly feedback meetings.
The project team also relentlessly followed up any corrective actions, completing 646 of 655 (98.6%) within 2 years. They changed checklists and observers every six months or so to refresh the process.
Over the next 2 years or so, safety behavior for both employees and contractors continually improved across the whole site.
Correspondingly, during the first year, the OSHA lost-time incident rate fell by 82%. The reportable injury rate dropped by 65% over the next 3 years.
In 2004, the site was awarded OSHAS 18001, the first company in their country to receive such recognition.
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