The design and implementation of the nine core elements of the Jacobs ESTS Group's Target Zero Motivational Safety System in support of the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Engineering, Science and Technical Services (ESTS) contract has resulted in 5 million work hours since January 2001 without a lost time accident, as of February 23, 2007. NASA has recognized each one million hour mark with their coveted NASA Safety Award.

Programmatically, the transition from a safety dominated/controlled safety program to a program with strong employee ownership/motivation/buy-in is the result of the focused commitment to implement the nine core elements each day. The nine core elements are: Management Leadership and Involvement; Teamwork; Safety Leadership and Professional Development; Positive Recognition and Praise; Ownership and Commitment; Education and Administration; Effective Communication; Creative Motivation and Sharing the Bottom Line; and Focus on Improvement. These core elements provide the structure that drives the Motivational Safety System toward world-class safety status.

The implementation of this Target Zero Motivational Safety System has not only created good safety metrics, which have enhanced the profits and productivity of the Jacobs ESTS Group, it has more importantly created the culture change that promotes a positive personal attitude towards safety at home as well as at work, which ultimately reduces incidents and injuries.

Success is measured by the employees' enthusiasm and willingness to share stories of how they have changed their personal habits and encouraged friends and loved ones to do the same. Employees exhibit enthusiasm, energy, and pride in their work through the Target Zero Motivational Safety System and they are further recognized by our NASA customer, who notes, "Your safety enthusiasm is contagious."


As safety professionals, what can we do to protect our co-workers as well as the property and products of our workgroup or organization? The bottom line is that safety is a leadership issue. As leaders, we must hold ourselves accountable for creating a positive safety environment and a workplace culture that focuses on "Target Zero" incidents. We should lead by example and through management encouragement.

But the most successful safety system isn't one that is dominated by safety professionals. Longterm safety system success comes instead through employees who are motivated and encouraged to buy into the system for their own safety and health and that of their coworkers. Motivation produces far-reaching results by having every single person take responsibility for safety, not just the Safety Professional. Unlike traditional and other safety systems which produce short-term results by focusing on behavior training alone, the Target Zero Motivational Safety System provides individuals with an understanding of the value of safety and gives them real-world options to choose from in assuming personal responsibility for their safety and the safety of others.

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