Monday, September 30, 2013

Personal Risk - The next important safety initiative

The Caterpillar approach to improving safety culture and the resultant injury performance follows our six levels model that has organizations living a culture of correct in the following important areas:
  • Foundational safety regulations compliance.  This level-one focus on fixing the conditions and following the rules is a necessity.

  • Reacting appropriately to what is seen in the workplace. Going beyond observation programs and developing strong, practical processes used by our employees for things like JSAs, near-miss and inspections.  In other words, we fix what we see whether it is a condition or a behavior.

  • Safety accountabilities for all levels of the organization that focus on our people doing value-added activities that reduce the possibility of injuries.

  • Performing diagnostics like a safety perception survey and interviews that give the organization insights as to what the safety concerns and strengths really are, as believed by employees at all levels of the organization.

  • Continuous improvement teams that engage people from all levels in an organization in delivering practical solutions to the issues noticed in the four levels mentioned above.

  • Passionate leadership at all levels of hourly and salaried people who use all the five tool sets mentioned above in a relentless pursuit of safety excellence.
In essence the above approach has three important pillars: fixing the conditions, error-proofing the processes and fulfilling accountabilities throughout the organization.  Recently a fourth pillar has become ever more apparent in the battle to deliver a zero-incident safety culture.  A long-time friend and safety professional from Canada, Dave Fennell of Imperial Oil – Exxon Mobil, has done exceptional work in focusing his organization on personal risk assessment.  Fennell has documented and detailed 10 frequent personal risk assessment faults which can lead directly to higher injury rates in an organization’s safety performance:
  1. Overestimating personal capabilities

  2. Familiarity with the tasks

  3. Seriousness of the potential outcomes

  4. Voluntary activities

  5. Personal experience

  6. Cost of non-compliance

  7. Confidence in the equipment

  8. Confidence in protection and rescue

  9. Potential profit gain

  10. Role models and accepting risk
Over the next few weeks, on this blog site, I will provide some of the details from Dave’s work as well as personal experiences from myself and others in this exciting fourth pillar of safety culture/performance excellence.

The Doc

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