Changing Behavior Keeps Us All Safer

Senior Vice President of Construction & Engineering, Kenny Strope, analyzed the major safety incidents which had occurred over a period of several fiscal years.

His analysis showed that many times the injury was the result of a decision made by the individual who got hurt. The actual statistics were:

  • 18 of 41 First Aid Incidents (44%)
  • 14 of 19 Medically Treated Incidents (74%)
  • 2 of 4 Lost Time Incidents (50%).

In each of these incidents, if the person had really thought about what he or she was doing, most likely, the injury would not have occurred.

A safety program called SafeStart® believes that all behavioral injuries can be traced back to four causes: rushing, fatigue, frustration, and/or complacency. These factors result in mind not on task, eyes not on task, putting yourself in the line of fire, and/or balance/traction/grip issues.

These are behavioral-based and not compliance issues. DuPont’s safety training suggests that you cannot get the safety result you want just by telling people to be safe. We can go back to the old “Command and Control” method of executing work, but we will find there is not a big enough police force to handle this method. We have to work on the behavior and culture of our entire organization and that organization includes our subcontractors.

It is important to continue to emphasize training for our workers including keeping them involved in the pre-task analysis. I am convinced with some of these injuries, the person may have had their head in their job, but simply did not recognize a potential hazard. This is why Kenny Strope likes pairing-up inexperienced workers with more experienced workers.

Most people will listen to what experienced workers say, short term, but everyone will respond to how experienced workers act. If we do not believe in what we are doing, we cannot get to a safe level of inter-dependence. We are all responsible for safety for ourselves and others, and our goal is Zero Harm. Kenny Strope believes the safety results we are currently achieving is a direct reflection of our leadership. Our Leadership Shadow follows us everywhere we go. We can continue to reduce our low injury rate, but it is up to each of us. Zero Harm cannot just be our goal, it must be our commitment.