Lockheed Martin Aeronautics - Fort Worth Completes OSHA Challenge in 20 Months


Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company - Fort Worth (Lockheed Martin), employs over 14,000 workers and is home of the F-35 Lighting II and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The company was accepted into OSHA Challenge as a new participant in March 2010. To be approved an employer must be under OSHA jurisdiction and show that they are committed to workplace safety and health. Once OSHA Challenge, a participant must also take the necessary actions to ensure that continual progress is made and the three stage requirements are met. While participating in OSHA Challenge, Lockheed Martin focused on incorporating the four key elements of OSHA's Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (management leadership and worker involvement, worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control, and safety and health training) into their own safety and health management program

Construction Safety and Health, Inc. and Gulf Coast Safety Institute, College of the Mainland, both served as the participant's Challenge Administrators. Challenge Administrators work closely with their designated Challenge participants to improve their safety and health management programs through mentoring, training, and progress tracking. Successful participation in Challenge results in increased workplace safety and health at all levels of the company and increased worker involvement. Additional benefits include improved safety and health policies and procedures and building a positive relationship with OSHA.

Success Impact:
Increased Management Leadership and Worker Involvement in Safety and Health

During Stage 1 of OSHA Challenge, the company's Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) Department utilized the talents of its Leadership Development Program (LDP) participants to focus on increasing management leadership in workplace safety and health. Thousands of documents were collected, such as completed safety inspections, safety meeting rosters, and safety behavior observation cards, to support the worker involvement and management leadership commitment teams. Information was compiled on the company's safety and health practices and policies which also helped to validate the successful completion of Stage I.

During Stage 2, as worker involvement is a key focus during OSHA Challenge, hundreds of workers were interviewed by commitment team members (consisting of both represented and non-represented workers). Over 3,000 pages of supportive documentation were collected to show the company's commitment to improving its safety and health management program. In the spring of 2011, employees were formally briefed to help increase education and awareness of the importance of worker involvement in safety and health. An employee communication survey was also administered, and five rallies were held to educate and energize employees about safety and health. "We could not have accomplished this without the support and contribution by both Lockheed Martin leadership and Union leadership…..this was truly a collaborative effort," said DD Currie, Director of the ESH Department.

During the third and final stage of OSHA Challenge, new training was delivered to workers and contractors to ensure they had the appropriate skills and knowledge to carry out their roles and responsibilities within the company's improved safety and health management program. Linda Rigdon, one of the company's material accountants, was one of the team members who worked to educate and train the workers. "What passing OSHA Challenge really means to Aero-Fort Worth is that we work hard every day to be safe," she said. "It means that the company is continuously looking for ways to improve work conditions and that we can feel confident that we'll go home in the same shape that we came to work that morning."

Rick Wilkins is a manufacturing planner specialist who was another team member who educated the workers about safety and health in the workplace. "I want to make sure my team and everyone else knows just how important it is to be a part of the audit and to do their part. We need to continue to watch out for ourselves and the safety of the people around us," he said. "Everyone needs to be educated on the safety practices they should be following, and it's my personal goal to help that mission. Education is the key…It's very exciting to see us grow as a company."

The Challenge participant's team members worked diligently with their Challenge Administrators to complete all of the OSHA Challenge requirements and successfully pass all necessary onsite audits. "Passing OSHA Challenge is an important step toward safety and health excellence," said Mark Huddleston, Safety and Health Manager of one of the company's contractor companies. "As a contractor we can't always be in control of our environment. It's good to know our client facility is committed to providing a safe and healthful workplace.

Reduced Injuries and Illnesses in the Workplace and Company Cost Savings

Lockheed's Martin's safety goals are patterned after the "Target Zero" program which strives for zero injuries. During its participation in OSHA Challenge, the company focused on increasing the number of safety and health self-inspections conducted which resulted in hundreds of hazards being identified and corrected. According to Lockheed Martin, this also resulted in an average 14 percent reduction in worker injury and illness rates and led to an estimated $574,000 in cost avoidance for the company. The company's Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) is 41 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) 2010 national average for this industry, and its Days Away, Restricted, and Transferred (DART) rate is 43 percent below BLS. The table below represents the company's injury and illness rates before and after its participation in Challenge:

Challenge Participant's Injury and Illness Rates TCIR DART Rate
Before Entering Challenge (2009) 2.6 1.5
After Entering Challenge (2010) 2.2 1.3
Change (+/-) -15% -13%
BLS National Average (2010) for NAICS Code 336411 3.7 2.3
Difference between Participant Rates and BLS National Average (2010) -41% -43%

Future Plans

Lockheed Martin successfully completed OSHA Challenge in October 2011 - just 20 months after beginning. Company leadership attributes the hard work and involvement of the employees to its OSHA Challenge success and to making the company a safer place to work. Lockheed is currently preparing for their OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) onsite evaluation which is scheduled to take place during 2012. Cindy Lewis of Gulf Coast Safety Institute and Challenge Administrator stated, "We are excited about the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics - Fort Worth site's accomplishments through OSHA Challenge. I believe that by completing OSHA Challenge they are a stronger candidate for VPP. It will continue to give the employees a positive way to be part of their EHS programs."

Challenge Participant: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics-Fort Worth
Challenge Administrators: Construction Safety and Health, Inc. and Gulf Coast Safety Institute, College of the Mainland
Approved to Participate in Challenge: March 22, 2010
Workers: Approximately 14,000
Industry (NAICS Code): Aircraft Manufacturing (NAICS Code 336411)
Sources (Date): Allie Reed, Employee Communications, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics - Fort Worth; Sean Connelly, VPP Coordinator, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics - Fort Worth; Danielle Gibbs, Challenge Liaison, OSHA National Office; Construction Safety and Health, Inc.; Gulf Coast Safety Institute, College of the Mainland (January 2012)
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