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Motor Vehicle Accidents Case Study: The Dow Chemical Company's Use of "Six Sigma" Methodology (Dec. 2005).
Problem: Reduce motor vehicle accidents, which are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S., in Dow's Hydrocarbons and Energy (HC&E) business unit.
Solution: Use "Six Sigma" to identify root causes of motor vehicle accidents and implement a program that produces sustainable results. Six Sigma uses a four-step process to reduce defects in processes, products, or services. The following summarizes how Dow applied the Six Sigma methodology to reduce motor vehicle accidents at its HC&E business unit:
Step 1: Measure. The project team collected information on variables associated with motor vehicle accidents, including factors related to the accident, the driver, the vehicle, and the details of the accident.
Step 2: Analyze. The team analyzed the information to determine what factors contributed to most of the accidents (root cause analysis).
Step 3: Improve. The team developed a series of driver procedures to address the risk factors. For example, all drivers involved in accidents must complete a defensive driving course. In addition, every employee must review a 10-step "Arrive Alive" checklist before driving a Dow-owned or -leased vehicle.
Step 4: Control. Establish controls to sustain the accident reduction and continue improvement. For example, the team held a series of presentations for drivers. Some presentations included general information for all drivers, while other presentations included more detailed information for drivers involved in accidents or who drive over 30,000 miles per year.
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