Our present manufacturing and service related world focuses both on sustainability and safety as a value. As a result more and more organizations are seriously in search of a strategy which will assist them in breaking through the safety performance plateaus achievable via dated regulations and observation based safety programs. An added challenge is the need to have this more advanced kind of safety system work on a global basis in a plethora of countries that have very different safety backgrounds and cultures from those normally found in mature industrialized nations.
Caterpillar is a large global company that takes this safety challenge seriously. In its more than 300 facilities or offices around the world, the Caterpillar organization employs some 150,000 people. This global footprint is spread across more than 180 countries and includes countless cultures. In 2003 Cat’s global RIF (Recordable Injury Frequency) was 6.22; way too high for the leadership values. A strong push with level one (reacting to regulation condition type of issues) and level two (reacting to observable weaknesses) tools was launched worldwide. This effort brought the RIF down to 1.17 by 2009 and then to 1.07 in 2012. As a result of this strategy there has been a global reduction of more than 44,000 recordable injuries since 2003. However, this RIF plateau at about 1.0 is particularly frustrating to corporate and local leaderships, especially considering the next step down to a RIF of 0.6 represents another 4,000 avoidable serious injuries.
In 2010 the decision was made to begin an in-depth safety culture strategy which would go beyond using RIF (and its related, dated tools approach) as the predominate safety indicator. The objective for this initiative is to transform the organization from one that measures undesirable injuries to one that relentlessly pursues a safety culture which lives the presence of safety. This sea change focus moved to what cannot be visibly seen, safety culture. The 2010 strategic shift had Caterpillar purchasing CoreMedia, a globally recognized safety culture company, then carefully testing and integrating its safety culture models and methods at facility and dealer locations.
The Safety Culture World webinar scheduled for August 28, 2013, will detail this journey to date and share our strategy for moving from a reactive to a proactive safety culture worldwide. View webinar details and register at safety.cat.com/webinars.