Flowserve Corp. Speaks the Language of Safety

Nov. 1, 2010
From providing Web-based training in multiple languages to striving for a zero-accident culture, Flowserve has safety covered.

At Flowserve Corp., the goal is not zero unsafe incidents — it's zero unsafe acts.

The Irving, Texas-based supplier of pumps, valves, seals automation and services to the power, oil, gas and chemical industries employs approximately 15,000 workers at more than 180 locations worldwide. Leadership views regulatory compliance as the bare minimum and goes above and beyond when it comes to safety.

“People talk about senior management support being critical for success. A lot of times, it's my experience that that's a wonderful patented cliché that gets used,” said Stephen Wilson, corporate director of safety, health and environmental affairs. “But in our case, there's not a meeting of any senior staff that doesn't start with a safety topic. We have put our money where our mouth is in terms of our rigorous self-audit program and our commitment to a PureSafety Web-based training platform in eight separate languages.”

Flowserve leadership believes safety is the morally, legally and economically sound way to operate. The company puts a strong focus on behavior-based safety, maintains a library of job safety analyses on an intranet and uses a comprehensive database of accident reports. The Spirit of Flowserve program awards employees who exemplify the company's six core values — commitment, creativity, character, collaboration, confidence and competence.

STRIVING FOR ZERO

But what Wilson is most proud of is “the number of people that go home every day in the same condition that they walked in the door.” Through its comprehensive auditing and training programs, Flowserve is able to keep employees safe and healthy.

“This is our ultimate goal: People not hurt,” said Pam Jones, safety analyst.

When looking to the future, Wilson added, the company intends to continue driving the concept of a zero-accident culture.

“Twenty years ago, it would have been very difficult to talk about [zero accidents],” he explained. “Now that we're under 1 and under a quarter on LTR, zero is now a conceivable goal. We've begun talking about that zero accident culture in our communications, in our audits at plant-level and so forth.”

The ASC award, meanwhile, “recognizes some very hard work by many people by nearly 200 locations around the world,” Wilson said. “Any success that we have achieved is a direct reflection on the embracing of the safety culture by everyone, from the first line supervisor to the most newly hired employee.”

But even accolades such as this ASC award or the more than 700 National Safety Council awards the company has earned since 1991 can't compare to the ultimate goal of sending workers home safe. In the end, that's what Jones and Wilson really care about.

“For the first time in Flowserve history, in the month of August, worldwide, [we had] over 2.5 million man hours and not a single lost-time accident,” said Jones. “We are very proud of that. We were so pleased to attain that, and it shows you that it can be done.”

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