Worker engagement is the final step in creating a truly connected safety strategy. Connected, data-driven digital safety strategies mean that hazards can be identified, brought to a supervisor's attention and eliminated quickly - preempting potential incidents. Embracing new technology, enhanced communication and in-depth training are also all components of a healthy safety culture. Some companies stand out from their peers in terms of working toward a new kind of safety that embraces leading indicators. In this post, we recognize five great examples of companies getting safety right!
BrandSafway is a creator of scaffolding, formwork, shoring solutions and specialty industrial services like rope access, abrasive blasting, industrial coating, fireproofing and more. Known for being leaders in both innovation and performance, the company has always included safety in their mission, both for their customers and for their own employees. BrandSafway has won an impressive total of 20 individual facility awards from the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers for their refinery and plant crews' excellent safety records in 2017. The awards are given only to facilities with workers laboring a minimum of 20,000 hours per year with a total recordable incident rate of .6 or less and no workplace fatalities in the calendar year. To have 20 facilities qualify individually for this award means BrandSafway is doing something right with their safety culture. In fact, the company has accomplished this feat by supporting a strong safety culture and through proactive programs that keep their 35,000 workers safe by identifying and remedying potential hazards before incidents can happen.
Bühler Aeroglide is the global leader in thermal processing technology, developing custom solutions for clients in applications such as food, pet food and aquafeed, and industrial materials like charcoal, wood, synthetic rubber, and polymers. Bühler employees manufacture a considerable catalog of drying machinery and do so with an excellent safety record. In 2017, Bühler reported only three recordable minor injuries and one "lost time" accident. It is this safety record that won them the Safety Award of Merit from the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association for the 5th consecutive year. Bühler attributes their safety successes to a broadening awareness of job safety over the past few years, with increased training and professional development that enhances worker engagement on every level. We applaud their commitment to worker engagement, including their efforts to communicate potential risks before they happen. Bühler proves that when workers and management are engaged equally in discussions about accident prevention and workplace safety, everyone feels part of a stronger, more effective safety community.
Fastenal is a Minnesota-based provider of industrial supplies from fasteners and metalworking components, to HVAC needs, motors, and machinery. With 2,383 branches, 608 onsite locations, and 2017 net sales of $4.4 billion, Fastenal has tremendous challenge when it comes to ensuring the safety of their own employees. Their commitment to safety is evident by the more than 100,000 annual training, communications and other "events" the company logs in an effort to keep incidents from happening. It is this commitment to a strong safety culture that earned them recognition at the 2018 Minnesota Governor’s Safety Awards. Fastenal was awarded a Meritorious Achievement for incidence rates better than the industry average for at least 3 years, and a score between 50-74 on a 100-point safety program evaluation scale. Certainly we are impressed with Fastenal's safety education program and think much can be gained by putting time and effort into teaching employees not only how to stay safe on the job, but how to identify and report potential hazards to keep their coworkers safe, too.
Boeing is a prolific and powerhouse manufacturer of air and space crafts including commercial airplanes, rockets, rotorcraft, missiles and satellites for customers worldwide. Perhaps the most technologically advanced safety program of all the companies we've profiled, Boeing's new virtual reality technology allows workers like engineers and operations teams as well as stakeholders to take part in interactive real time simulations of manufacturing and service tasks. By utilizing a virtual reality experience before workers enter the shop floor, they are able to see all aspects of the job and identify potential points of risk before they become real problems. The virtual reality program began with the development of the 787 Dreamliner aircraft and now includes 11 virtual reality systems with an additional 3 planned for this year. The immersiveness of these virtual reality exercises fosters employee collaboration that encourages and allows teams to identify hazards in a safe environment so they don't have to face them in reality. We tip our hat to Boeing for such a bold use of virtual reality technology and a hefty commitment to safety culture. As providers of safety technology ourselves, we love to see innovative uses of advanced technology to make jobs safer for all
Ingalls Shipbuilding is a Mississippi-based shipbuilder and the largest supplier of U.S. Navy surface combatants, responsible for almost 70% of the U.S. Navy warship fleet. They employee 11,500 people, making them a major contributor to the economic growth of Mississippi and Alabama, as well. Ingalls' 79-year history in shipbuilding includes manufacturing state-of-the-art missile destroyers, amphibious ships, cutters and assault ships. Recently the American Society of Safety Professionals presented the 2018 Safety Management Innovation Award to Ingalls Shipbuilding's system safety engineer Christopher A. Buzbee. This award is given to those who creatively manage safety in the workplace. Buzbee's innovation is an interactive, real time safety training simulator. The simulator's purpose is to improve hazard control skills quickly. This simulator is called "SPACES" (Situational Perception And Condition Evaluation Simulator) and was initially developed to help new employees acclimate to their work environment and hone hazard control skills. They have now expanded it to include multiple types of production workplace personnel in a robust safety training program. As with Boeing, we applaud their usage of forward-thinking technology to train employees about dangers in a virtual environment before they face them in reality.
Strong safety communities are crucial to ensuring workplace safety. We commend companies for raising the bar in creating proactivesafety environments.