Behavior based safety ("BBS") is a powerful process for improving safety and organizational performance… if it is well implemented. Through implementation experience and benchmarking, the authors have identified several common problems that can undermine the effectiveness of BBS. One of these common problems is difficulty, or failure, to offer practical and valid behavioral alternatives to at-risk body position and at-risk body motion.
At-risk body position and body motions are important factors in common and costly incidents of musculoskeletal pain and disability, including: back pain, sprains and strains, tendonitis, and nerve entrapments.
The Westinghouse Electric Company's Western Zirconium (WZ) plant used a licensed training program called Safety In MotionTM ("SIM") to effectively overcome this problem and boost the WZ behavior based safety process to a new level of effectiveness.
It is our belief that people who work in the safety profession have a desire to make a difference. This difference may be in the lives of the employees who work at our facilities, it may be in the knowledge we share with members of our communities or it may be that we recognize that through improved safety performance we can make our businesses more competitive in the marketplace. Whatever the driver may be, our task is to keep a watchful eye for ideas that can help us reach our quest.
By integrating our BBS process with an ergonomic program called Safety In MotionTM we developed best practices that allow us to effectively coach at-risk body motions.
Over the past few decades many companies have embarked on a journey down the path of behavior based safety. Many of these implementations have been quite successful, helping to reduce injuries, workers compensation costs and actually changing employee's at-risk behaviors. Others however, have not been so successful. They have found the process to be labor intensive, time consuming and in the end delivering little value for their investment.
Improving one's odds for success is what this paper is about. We will share with you some of the implementation strategies used at the Westinghouse Electric Company's Western Zirconium (WZ) plant. We will also share some problems that can undermine the BBS process.
Our vision at WZ is simple; we expect that all our employees will go home to their families the same way they arrived at work. This holds true if they choose to work for us for one day or if they stay for the remainder of their careers. Our plant is a heavy industrial setting with a significant amount of manual materials handling. We are excited to share some new tools that enabled us to advance from a common and frustrating plateau to a higher level of safety performance.