A good measure of whether your safety records are up to scratch is to see how many accident free hours you have. Take a look at John Deere, for instance, who have been incident-free for 14 million hours. It is this record that makes the company one of the leading examples in the industry. What kind of processes do they have in order to achieve this? John Deere has stated that it is thanks to employee engagement, safety processes, ongoing communication and management support. Through these steps, they have stopped injuries from occurring both on and off the job.
They have a number of key safety processes. One process is the safety and ergonomic risk assessment (SERA). Thanks to SERA, it is possible to identify hazards and then come up with processes to reduce or even eliminate them. Next, they have CI (continuous improvement). Through CI, teams work hard to identify any safety concerns, and address these. All John Deere offices use CI boards, which show current projects and their status, as well as a responsible officer. Then, they use the “red tag” process. The red tag process means that any piece of equipment is completely checked and maintained before it is allowed to go out on another job. Last but not least, they also have ergo days. On ergo days, people from all levels of the company get together and discuss things they have identified that could improve the safety of employees.
These processes are inspiring, but what can you learn from them? What the above shows us, firstly, is that the company invests in the safety of their employees and that is the most important lesson. This is a clear case of spending money to make money. You may think it is expensive to invest in your employees, but they will cost you a lot more if they are unable to work due to injury. In fact, these costs are twofold, since you will experience downtime and you may find you get sued by your staff. You can also see from John Deere’s example that it is very important to make sure everybody in the company has a say. Employee engagement, whereby everybody has a voice, is a key thing in getting top safety records. As such, it is about working together to create safety processes, rather than using a top down approach through management. Finally, you have to make sure that ever piece of equipment you use is in perfect working order. Whether your use photocopiers or bulldozers, all of them have to be maintained properly and this should leave a paper trail as well.