On the Road to Success: The National Park Service-Grand Teton National Park Partnership
In past years, the National Park Service (NPS) has experienced the highest employee injury and illness rates of all Department of Interior (DOI) Bureaus. In recognizing this problem, the NPS approached OSHA to ask for help to improve their safety and health management systems (SHMS) at NPS sites with high injury and illness rates. In 2001, the Grand Teton National Park and OSHA's Region VIII Billings Area Office developed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) to improve their SHMS and reduce the number of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. The Partnership renewed their OSP agreement in February 2005 and continues to make substantial progress towards achieving their goals.
Injury and Illness Rates Improve
When the NPS Partnership started in 2001, it faced many challenges - particularly how to best address their high rates of injuries and illnesses. As shown in the below table, the Partnership's 2001 baseline Days Away, Restricted and Transfer (DART) rate was 3.9 and their Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) was 13.9 - significantly higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average for that industry.
|OSP Baseline Rate||
|OSP 3-Year Average for Most Recent Years||
|BLS Industry National Average for Most Recent Year||
Over the past three years, the Partnership experienced a 60% decrease in recordable cases. Their DART rate was 10% less and their TCIR was 50% less than their baseline rate.
Safety and Health Culture Promoted and Relationships between Stakeholders Improved
One of the key purposes of the Partnership is to improve the Park's SHMS. In 2007, the Partnership began focusing on increasing employee involvement and creating a safety and health culture. The first step in doing this was improving communications between all stakeholders, and over the past year, employees and managers have made great strides in doing this. Top management increased their effort and willingness to be more available to the employees. In turn, employees have become more involved and more focused on maintaining safety and health in their day-to-day activities - resulting in employees becoming more accountable for their actions. Employees feel more comfortable in reporting safety and health concerns to their supervisors without fear of reprisal.
Other relationships and communications have improved as well. For example, NPS management and employees are now more open to OSHA assistance and less apprehensive during OSHA visitations and evaluations. Also, the union's relationship with the OSP management team has also shown improvement in fostering open lines of communication.
The key objective of the Partnership is to reduce injuries and illnesses by identifying and correcting the primary causal factors of the top three injuries and illnesses. The Partnership's overarching goal is to improve employee productivity and quality of life by providing safe and healthful occupational environments.
Origin: Region VIII, Billings Area Office
Partners: Grand Teton National Park
Partnership Signed: August 2001, renewed February 2005
Industry: General Industry NAICS Code 712190, SIC Code 7999
Source and Date: Region VIII, Billings Area Office / May 2008