Editor's Note: There will be an awards ceremony for the 2022 class of America's Safest Companies at the Safety Leadership Conference in Cleveland on Oct. 18-20, where current and past winners will be sharing their blueprints for success. You can learn more about the conference and sign up to register at www.safetyleadershipconference.com.
650 employees | 100 sites | 6 EHS professionals
Is there such a thing as “safety-love”?
According to Jim Ditter, CEO of MetroPower there is.
"At MetroPower, safety is not just a philosophy – it’s a moral obligation we share to protect ourselves and our co-workers,” explains Ditter. “I find it disheartening when someone says, 'accidents just happen.' I don’t believe that, nor do I want to work with people that behave that way. As safety becomes a part of your daily life at work, we hope you’ll keep it a top priority outside the workplace as well. I have personally experienced this at home, as our family holds each other accountable to eliminate unsafe behaviors. At work, at home and in our communities, we are one big family, and we need to share the “safety love.”
This philosophy is working as the company announced they just recently celebrate over 2.1-million-man hours worked without injury.
One reason might be the makeup of the safety team. “Our entire department, with the exception of one administrative role, was master electricians running large jobs before switching to safety,” says Ashley Moore, safety coordinator. “They are relatable and able to bond with employees gaining respect for our advice and processes. This has helped to build an incredible safety culture where safety is not just a goal it is a priority.”
Incorporating safety on a daily basis helps reinforce behaviors. In fact, at MetroPower employees use a behavior-based program that encourages them to observe each other’s work and provide feedback. Employees participate in a daily Job Hazard Analysis as a group each morning to review what hazards are present and all the ways these can be eliminated or reduced. “We meet monthly to discuss good catches & improvements recommended during observations,” notes Moore.
Continuing education is part of the safety process as well. All employees are expected to reach a minimum of 18 hours of continuing education. These courses can consist of technical or safety training outside of mandatory courses. Additionally, employees are required to complete a basic First Aid & CPR course within 6 months of hire.
Technology is another tool the company uses to help track its efforts including:
- Safety Database Management System-eCompliance: Gives employees access to all safety documentation, inspections, audits, and meetings that can all be tracked to report leading and lagging indicators.
- Telematic Devices: These are used in all vehicles to help track safety and mileage on the road. Cognitive Testing-Alert MeterHelps to track employee cognitive functions before shift begins & after lunch breaks. Notifies management if an employee tests out of range.
All of these efforts put the company in a strong situation. "It takes a lot of buy-in and support to build the safety culture we have here but customers and employees know MetroPower for our diligence to safety," says Moore.