Safety Starts with Engagement
Strengthening the Proactive Practice of Safety
The issue of on-the-job safety should be on every company’s radar, but it’s an ethical and business imperative for those in heavy industry. On top of the genuine concern for their employees’ well-being, business leaders know that at-work accidents can cost the company millions of dollars related to insurance, worker’s compensation and lost productivity.
For our client, a worldwide industrial leader, an intense focus on safety had long been an integral part of the corporate culture. On the other hand, so was a commitment to continuous improvement. Recognizing opportunities to further reduce the number of work-related injuries, the client initiated a program to ensure its frontline field supervisors were properly trained to recognize risks, address them appropriately and provide suitable direction to their employees. Expressworks was selected to help define and develop solutions.
A key priority was to reinforce certain safety behaviors among the field supervisors, who as a group were experienced and knowledgeable but had shown a lack of consistent adherence to standard protocols. Expressworks’ Learning Solutions team set to work developing a new training program that would help frontline supervisors better understand the hazards, ensure proper procedures were followed, and further engage employees in a general commitment to safety.
To be successful, the program had to be meaningful and ongoing, not a generic PowerPoint thrown over the wall to be forgotten. The training program needed to identify specific “high-consequence” safety scenarios, demonstrate the right measures to prevent accidents, and help supervisors overcome typical obstacles they faced in promoting safety.
Safe and sustainable
Expressworks produced customized learning programs for various teams, starting at the top to ensure executive participation, and cascading down to business unit leaders, frontline supervisors, and ultimately to operations and maintenance employees. The sessions included a review of the research on major safety incidents, a series of specific process simulations and in-depth discussions of how safety could be improved in each scenario. Presentations featured animated graphics of machinery and voiceover narration to ensure clear and consistent messaging from group to group. We also produced follow-on materials, including a series of video case studies covering specific on-the-job safety hazards, to ensure easy access to ongoing safety instruction. The training programs and take-away materials were translated into 12 languages to accommodate employees around the world.
In post-program surveys, the vast majority of supervisors reported feeling better prepared to improve safety among their teams. They could understand the risks and the severity of the consequences, and they knew how to put effective safety procedures in place. Perhaps most importantly, they felt empowered to put a stop to unsafe behaviors before an accident happened.
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