Most businesses spend a great deal of time talking about it but their actual commitment varies substantially. Being the optimist I am, I think most business care but, business gets in the way and their commitment falls short. With OSHA and insurance carrier inspections most companies are forced to a certain level of safety to exist. This is the most fundamental level and really does not afford the protection the employees deserve.
Ebsco has always been committed to providing a safe working enviroment for its employees. We are also committed to continuous improvement in everything we do. To make that a reality takes more than a lot of talk. It takes commitment from ALL levels and a plan to implement the actions. I have previously Blogged about my pride in the Ebsco teams, one of which is the safety team. Moving safety to the employee level allows those taking the risks to determine the preventive measures needed. The team has done an outstanding job. Last year we had a random OSHA inspection. All though the inspection went very well they pointed out some areas we were not even aware of. Another big step in building our safety program.
Ebsco has laid out a plan to build our safety program. Our goal is to have safety a part of everything we do versus something that stands alone. We are transitioning from a management imposed safety program to an employee driven ingrained safety program.
The Safety Team itself was our initial transition. This was the first step in taking the ownership of safety to the employees themselves. We followed this utilizing our daily 5 minute department meetings. Each morning I send notes on happenings and priorities for the day to the Team leads that they share with their departments. In those notes is a daily safety note. It can be anything pertaining to safety. The point is to keep safety in everyone’s mind and show that management is committed to safety. Our next step was having our safety manager do a 5 minute demonstration in one of the departments at the 5 minute meeting. He travels to a different department daily to demonstrate a specific safety topic. We are now training our safety team members how to perform a safety walk in their department every day. We are developing department specific check lists they will utilize as a guide. The results of the daily walks will be shared with the Team Leads to determine actions in the department to correct any deficiencies. The corrections will include the entire department. Completed walks will be forwarded to management for follow-up and to share common problems and solutions with other departments. This “grass roots’ approach to safety will put safety into the daily routine of everyone at Ebsco. Our goal is that safety not be an independent topic but and extension of everything we do with everyone that does it. This also aligns well with our E=cs² initiative that is currently focusing on 5s. The E=cs² initiative is also an employee driven continuous improvement program that is based in lean manufacturing techniques. Any application of the organization of 5s will benefit our safety program.
I’ve seen what the employees of Ebsco can accomplish. The boss wants “World Class”. I’m betting that Ebsco’s safety program will be a model for manufacturing everywhere.
That’s World Class!