We continue our series of Good Safety Practices, as we believe that is a good way to disseminate success stories from abroad, which can be implemented in companies from our country.
British Sugar suffered a blow in 2003, when two fatal accidents occurred, causing the death of 2 workers, despite having committed heavily to occupational health and safety. After the tragedy, a large investment was made to implement safety measures throughout the plant and safe work procedures, in order to prevent something similar from happening again.
Despite the large investment, it was found that the workers had not assimilated the new work dynamics, a fact that influenced a feeling of insecurity among employees and that they were not committed to the new safety approach initiated by the company.
“Safety Debate” implementation tool
In 2006, the company decided to implement a “Safety Debate” program.
An E-learning platform was created in-house, designed and developed by the employees of British Sugar (actually the investment was very low), which allowed confidential discussion between managers, middle managers and workers about topics related to line or plant safety. Their objectives were the following:
- Mutual discussion among “equals” (anonymous).
- Planning joint actions to improve safety and designation of those responsible (management, middle management …) which were published in open forums in software (publicly).
- Using new technologies and replacement of communication procedures, action planning … “on paper”
For example, the worker / and the middle manager (or manager) command knew that this private conversation that they had maintained through which they had committed to undertake a series of preventive measures was a guarantee for success in its application (nobody likes it when someone comes asking for “outstanding accounts”).
- The frequency rate (number of work accidents per million hours) decreased from 5.2 in 2005/06 to 3 in the 2008/09 (40% approx.)
- In the period of 2006/07 to 2008/09 the ratio of safety observations increased by 346% while increasing the observations of “unsafe acts” at a ratio from 4: 1 to 20: 1. This shows great commitment and involvement concerning safety at all production levels
- Improved procedures and work standards
- They created the basis of what is now a powerful e-learning tool for communication and learning for the company, with instructions, testing, and work procedures, training …
- In 2009, British Sugar was awarded the “DuPont Safety Award” in recognition of its innovative approach to safety management.
It can be demonstrated that in many cases the huge investments are overcome (and in the long run) for those most innovative measures (at a reasonable cost) and with the participation of “human capital”.
Do you find it interesting? At PrevenControl we can also offer you safety management tools, communication tools and custom e-learning solutions.
PrevenControl es la firma especializada en seguridad y salud laboral que propone soluciones eficaces e innovadoras para la mejora del negocio y la reputación de sus clientes a través de la consultoría, el uso de la tecnología y la formación.