The Boston Globe is a major metropolitan newspaper that is a subsidiary of the New York Times. The Boston Globe has been in business since 1872. Over the years the Globe has made improvements in new presses, mailroom and direct to plate technology. The Globe has two major printing plants each having four presses. We have over 2,000 employees with 12 unions. The foremen are also in the union although they are considered management. The safety department at its hiatus was four employees and now down to one. This is a case study that takes you through the efforts of the Globe in reducing its worker's compensation exposure by managing safety in a number of areas. Through the initiatives and programs that follow has resulted in a reduction of over 65% in total accidents and a 75% reduction in lost time accidents over a six year period. Our musculoskeletal stress injuries were reduced by over 75% in three years. This represented a savings of over 3 million dollars in direct costs and another estimated 6 million in indirect costs per year. In these times of hard economic forces affecting newspapers, this is an opportunity to use the savings in other areas of the organization.
We will start by talking about our past failures and missed opportunities. Over a number of years, the Globe took the traditional approach of safety compliance with training. We had no accountability for safety at a local departmental level. Foremen were production and quality focused with safety in the background. We had limited successes with no sustained effort and at times peaking in worker's compensation costs and accidents.
In 2001, we made partnered with Dupont Safety Services to benchmark the Globe against world class safety companies in twelve specific elements. These elements were visible management commitment, working safety policy, integrated organization for safety, line organization responsibility and accountability, aggressive safety goals and objectives, high standards of performance, supportive safety personnel, progressive motivation, comprehensive injury and incident investigation and reports, effective two way communication, continuous safety training and safety auditing. Each element had five level categories increasing in effectiveness namely: fundamental, awareness, skills, excellence and world class. The results were no surprise to anyone, the organization was rated at a fundamental level in most elements and in some elements we were below that basic level.
We made a decision to address three areas: management commitment, accident investigation and safety auditing.
We concentrated on two levels of management accountability namely senior executive managers and the foremen and superintendents. Senior managers had 25% of their raise and bonus directly affected by a lagging indicator which was a reduction of lost time accidents and lost work days by 20% over the previous year. We used this cost driver since it has the most impact on the worker's compensation costs. This level included all the VP's etc in the organization. The foremen had a leading indicator as their goal, conducting four safety audits per month with two being observational.