My guess is just about every safety pro on our planet is aware of observation programs. To me it seems this approach started way back in the 1930s when H. W. Heinrich went to the field and watched safety, and the lack of safety, in action. DuPont added bells and whistles with its STOP™ observation program and others jumped on the band wagon of training people to watch other people in action and then react to what workers did that was safe or not safe. However, the purpose of this blog article is not to launch another of the endless debates on observation programs. Rather it is to provide perspective and introduction to a very different and effective kind of safety technology which has recently been improved and updated.
Some years ago, as the crush of reactive observation program lookalikes was occurring, a small group of safety thought leaders began developing safety culture technology based on proactive safety accountabilities. Cleverly they termed their initiative S.T.A.R.T., (Supervisor Training in Accident Reduction Techniques). As Caterpillar continues to push the envelope of safety performance the company decided to purchase the rights to this globally popular proactive safety technology. In turn this led to an immediate investing of the time, effort and funds necessary to bring in recent safety culture developments. The resultant new and improved Supervisor Training in Accountability and Recognition Techniques (S.T.A.R.T.) includes proactive approaches to: safety accountability, recognition, work cell continuous improvement teams, corporate safety steering teams, and cross functional personnel engagement in all aspects of safety culture excellence. This updated S.T.A.R.T. introduces and provides teaching in the how, why, who and many more aspects of developing and living zero-incident safety cultures. Caterpillar has begun utilizing this safety culture initiative worldwide as part of its replacement to reactive RIF (Recordable Incident Frequency) -based safety cultures, which always seem to plateau in injury and engagement performance.
The Safety Culture World Webinar on September 25 presents both consultant and user experiences in the implementation of a proactive S.T.A.R.T. safety culture. Please join Mike Brodock and Curt Siroky in an interactive discussion about this modernized approach to delivering safety culture excellence. View a preview and register at safety.cat.com/webinars.