SLC 2017 Q&A: Taking an Integrated Approach to Risk Assessment and Control

July 17, 2017
Paul Zybert, the senior director of environmental, health, safety and sustainability at Raytheon Co. will talk risk assessment, risk heat maps and degree of control charts at the Safety Leadership Conference in Atlanta in September.

Raytheon Co. was named one of America’s Safest Companies in 2013. The company employs employs approximately 68,000 people at some 150 sites worldwide. Paul Zybert, senior director of environmental, health, safety and sustainability at Raytheon recently talked about his presentation, “An Integrated Enterprise Approach to Risk Assessment and Control,” scheduled for the Safety Technology Track at the upcoming EHS Today Safety Leadership Conference, Sept. 11-13 in Atlanta.

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EHS Today: Can you offer us a description of your presentation and how it relates to safety leadership?

Paul Zybert: This presentation will provide insight into an integrated approach to risk assessment and control that encompasses safety, industrial hygiene and ergonomic aspects, which are managed within a standardized framework. Attendees will also learn about how Raytheon uses risk heat maps to provide management an indication of risks at a particular site and how degree of control charts are used to gauge the effectiveness of implemented control methods.

EHS Today: Why is the topic of your presentation of interest to you and why is it important to SLC attendees?

Paul Zybert: Raytheon Co. has maintained a low injury rate for a number of years, but we recognize that safe companies can still have serious injuries and/or fatalities. Our vision for our 2020 Health and Safety goals is to place greater emphasis on serious injury/fatality prevention, while continuing to lower our overall injury rate by focusing on our key injury drivers. We feel that many of the attendees at the Safety Leadership Conference may be in a similar positon and can benefit by learning about our journey.

EHS Today: Please share an example of a personal or professional experience you’ve had related to safety leadership or the topic of your presentation.

Paul Zybert: Safety leadership is about implementing the fundamentals, benchmarking best practices and being able to say you don’t have the answer, but you know where to find it. The best advice I ever received was that you can’t know everything, so start by talking with the person who is doing the job you are evaluating as he or she probably knows the most about it.

EHS Today: What are the takeaways you hope to leave with attendees?

Paul Zybert: Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how Raytheon is attempting to drive down injury rates by focusing on risk as a leading indicator, while also identifying and mitigating less likely but highly impactful serious injury / fatality potential incidents. 

EHS Today: What do you think are some of the most pressing EHS and risk management issues facing corporate leaders and safety professionals in 2017 and beyond?

Paul Zybert: Many companies have been successful at significantly lowering injury rates over the last decade, but the possibility for a serious injury/fatality still exists and can negate all of the positive efforts put in place. I believe that companies should not lose sight of these less likely, but significantly more impactful events.

In addition, the focus on lagging indicators (injury rates) is still highly ingrained within senior management. EHS professionals face a significant challenge in driving company culture to focus more on leading indicators, which will ultimately take EHS to the next level.

EHS Today: How will this session help attendees be a better resource for their employees and company?

Paul Zybert: Attendees will have a better understanding of how Raytheon is managing risk and have insight into our challenges and best practices. I hope that by sharing with our peers that we are able make the workplace a safer place for all.

(EHS Today's 2017 Safety Leadership Conference and America’s Safest Companies Award Program will take place Sept. 11-13 in Atlanta, GA at the Hilton Atlanta. This event is designed to share best leadership, risk management, compliance and safety practices with EHS professionals hoping to achieve world-class safety at their companies. The conference features 28 sessions across four performance tracks; Safety & Risk Management, Compliance, Construction Safety and Safety Technology.)

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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