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By empowering employees to take ownership and accountability of safety Smiths Medical was able to get past its safety plateau and improve its safety culture Smiths Medical
<p>By empowering employees to take ownership and accountability of safety, Smiths Medical was able to get past its safety plateau and improve its safety culture.</p>

SLC 2016: Driving Safety Change Using a Safety Performance System

Looking for ways to get past safety plateaus? This session will offer guidance to help you and your organization invigorate your safety culture.

Tim McGraw is vice president of EHS, security and facilities, global, at Smiths Medical, which was named one of America’s Safest Companies (ASC) in 2015. He will be speaking on a panel in the Safety and Risk Management Track at the Safety Leadership Conference 2016 in Pittsburgh, Sept. 19-21.

According to McGraw, Smiths Medical’s safety performance plateaued in 2010, and the company partnered with Performance Solutions from Milliken to employ an employee-led safety performance system in its 15 manufacturing plants globally to build greater employee engagement and empowerment over the safety process. McGraw will share a program overview, and candid comments will be offered from a frontline safety leader from the company’s Dublin, Ohio manufacturing plant.

McGraw shared this preview of his presentation with us:

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

Tim McGraw: The Safety Performance System (SPS) is designed to create a sustainable safety culture through 100 percent engagement of the workforce. SPS focuses on tapping into the most valuable resource in the organization – our associates – by providing self-directed work teams with the appropriate education and skills to take ownership of employee safety to drive a self-acknowledged sense of responsibility, accountability and job enrichment. Ultimately, the SPS tools and structure will be used to enhance other functions of the business.

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

Tim McGraw: SPS is something I believe strongly in because it’s an investment in our people and it goes far beyond just safety. It creates job enrichment, development of new skills and ultimately reveals what was once untapped potential. We have seen numerous examples of personal and professional growth through this process with associates becoming more skilled, more confident, and more valuable to the organization.

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

Tim McGraw: I hope the attendees leave with a sound understanding of the process, its many benefits and how it demonstrates employee engagement to the fullest.

EHS Today: What do you think are some of the most pressing EHS and risk management issues facing corporate leaders and safety professionals in 2016 and beyond?

Tim McGraw: I believe there is great opportunity in EHS to leverage the knowledge and skills of our associates as a means of driving frontline ownership through empowerment, and ultimately yielding good performance. I also believe that it’s a continuous challenge to stay proactive and aware of looming issues in a world that is constantly changing. We need to create and be a part of the change, and not wait for it. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” SPS is our future.

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

Tim McGraw: This session will allow safety professionals to bolster their safety committees and take them to an area where there are no limits. It will allow you and your organization to breakthrough plateaus if you are continually looking for ways to invigorate your safety culture. Ultimately, this session will give safety professionals insight into a program that can vastly change the culture and performance of their entire organization.

Click here for more information about the Safety Leadership Conference 2016.

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