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The following is an analysis of the safety and health program at Plant XYZ and some recommendations for improvement.
- Records are suspect for the following reasons:
- Numbers are not sequential
- Cases are not in order, indicating reporting is lax and late.
- Several cases are marked as ongoing. It is not clear what this means and may indicate that the cases were not initially reported.
- How much higher will the real rates be once reporting is accurate?
- There appear to be injuries related to lack of personal protective equipment.
- There appear to be ergonomic issues at the facility.
- The injury/illness rates are very high, indicating poor safety performance.
- Is there a near miss or first aid log?
- Where are the Workers’ Compensation first reports of injury?
- The percent of recordables to lost time cases should be in the range of 10:1 (Heinrich’s accident pyramid); based on 8 lost time cases, this company should have had a lot more recordables, i.e., approximately 80, not the 18 recordables that they had. (There may be under-reporting.)
Behavioral Analysis of Incidents:
- 6- Line of fire
- 5- Personal protective equipment - gloves & washing resin off
- 3- Personal protective equipment - eyes
- 3- Overexertion
- 2- Eyes forward & housekeeping
- 2- Improper tool use
- 2- Improper tool selection
- 1- Lockout/tagout
- Not all cases were investigated.
- Investigations set blame and determine no root cause.
- Managers don’t value doing the investigations.
- Lessons learned not generalized nor used proactively.
- There are lockout/tagout issues which should be investigated.
Safety Committee Minutes:
- There is no top management commitment at Plant XYZ.
- Mixed messages are sent by opening the meeting with a production message instead of safety concerns.
- Only managers are part of committee.
- The message is : "Let’s clean up for annual fire department inspection" instead of: "Let’s find out how we are doing."
- The company offers monetary incentives to keep rates and reporting down.
- The safety and health program lacks sophistication - e.g., safety posters.
- Supervisors not enforcing safety rules except when someone gets hurt.
- Smith sees the purpose of accident investigation as filling out reports.
- Culture is very poor and does not encourage safe behavior; rather, it encourages unsafe behavior and blames employees when something goes wrong. Employees won’t participate as a result of fear. There is low trust and credibility, and probably poor communication within the organization.
- Poor communication;
- Low trust;
- Low credibility - managers don’t walk the talk;
- Lack of consistency;
- Misuse of downstream measures;
- Not everyone involved -no buy in;
- Lack of cooperation between groups - no team play;
- The company culture doesn’t value safety;
- Production pressure - alignment issues;
- Safety and health program lacks clear purpose and direction;
- There are no clearly defined roles and responsibilities for safety at all levels;
- Reward/incentive programs are disincentives;
- Peer pressure;
- Lack of integration with other processes i.e., production and quality; and
- Lack of top management commitment and involvement.
Overall - Plant XYZ should implement the following:
- Accurate reporting,
- Near miss reporting,
- Root cause incident investigations,
- Involve employees in incident investigations,
- Involve employees in the safety committee,
- Establish problem solving and process improvement processes for the safety committee,
- Safety culture assessment,
- Comprehensive safety and health audit,
- Personal protective equipment program,
- Ergonomics program,
- Realignment for safety and health - production vs. safety priorities,
- Establish S&H planning process,
- Institute a lockout/tagout program,
- Clearly define roles and responsibilities for safety,
- Restructure incentive programs,
- Establish good safety performance measures,
- Define the value of safety and related processes for managers and for employees and get buy-in, and
- Establish communications and trust with employees.