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Archive for July, 2014

SAFE Program featured in IOSHA Newsletter

Indiana Labor InsiderGribbins Insulation is proud to showcase our article in Indiana Labor Insider, the semi-annual e-newsletter from the Indiana Department of Labor.  Our article can be found on page 6 of the newsletter.  The full text of our article is below:

At Gribbins Insulation, we believe the extensive involvement of our employees in our safety program has strengthened the culture of safety in our offices and in the field.  One of the best examples of this involvement is through our behavior based safety program, or as we call it, Surveying At-Risk For Elimination (SAFE) Program.  Our SAFE Program trains employees to conduct peer-to-peer observations to determine at-risk behaviors and the barriers to those behaviors.  Because the system depends on peer-to-peer observations, the training process teaches the employees how to discuss with the person being observed the at-risk behaviors they see, what can be changed to make their task safer, and how to determine the barriers to safe behaviors.  The program relies strictly on a “no name, no blame” philosophy.  This means that the observed employee is not named on the observation form, which eliminates the possibility of reprimand for a negative observation.  To ensure the observation form is highly relevant, we update the form annually based on our analyses of incident statistics, audit findings, and violations from the previous year to determine specific focus areas.   From the 2013 analysis, we are currently focused on six areas for 2014: eye protection, hand protection, body mechanics, working from ladders, working from scissor lifts, and the use of fall protection.  This update process fosters more participation in the SAFE Program, which leads to greater communication between employees, a decrease in at risk behaviors, and an increase in the overall number of productive observations.  The annual analysis also serves as a valuable tool for management when reviewing our safety program to find areas that need improvement.

We were introduced to the potential of the behavior based safety process in 2006 when several of our clients implemented programs.  After seeing the valuable outcomes of the process, we decided to develop a custom-program for Gribbins Insulation to roll out to our other jobsites.  During the process of making the SAFE Program, field employees contributed greatly to many aspects of the program, including the development of the mission, the creation of the form, the training process, and the analysis of the results.

The SAFE Program has resulted in direct reductions in violations and recordables as well as a stronger overall safety culture.  Since implementing the SAFE program in 2010, our recordable and first aid injuries have decreased close to 30%.  We have also seen a 35% reduction in the number of violations occurring during our jobsite audits.  Another positive impact is the noticeable increase in hazard condition notifications by employees to the safety department.  Such hazards can be listed on the SAFE Program observation form and turned in anonymously.  We continue to be impressed with our employees’ dedication to these observations.  Examples of hazards that have been reported and corrected through this process include:  hazardous holes in parking lots; lockout-tagout issues while removing insulation with heat tracing; and the observation of a contract employee installing an air conditioning unit in an unsafe manner.  In the last instance, when the Gribbins employee noticed the installer was above 6 feet without being tied off, our employee stopped the installer, asked him to come down , and discussed the situation with him to inform him he needed fall protection.  Employees are also more comfortable talking to each other while performing their tasks and correcting each other on a peer-to-peer level.  The whole idea of peer-to-peer observations and corrections has become commonplace, which is an outcome we did not expect to see so quickly.  As a bonus, employees earn safety points in the Gribbins Insulation safety incentive program for their participation.

In 2012, we received Accreditation from the Cambridge Center of Behavioral Studies for World-Class Behavior-Based Safety, which is a testament to the dedication of our management team and our employees to the SAFE Program.

Line of Fire

Gribbins Insulation - Toolbox Talk

Line of fire in military terms is the path of a missile discharged from a fire arm.  In construction, the line of fire is the path an object will travel.  In many of the tasks that you perform frequently there is the possibility of putting yourself in the line of fire.  A few examples include cutting towards yourself, pulling tools or equipment towards yourself or walking under employees working above.  The following are a list of precautions to take to prevent you from being in the line of fire.

  • Never walk under suspended loads.
  • Cut away from your body.  When you must cut towards yourself stand so that if the knife slips it would not hit your body.
  • Never pull equipment or tools toward you face or body.  Position yourself so if the tool or equipment slips it would not hit you.
  • Perform a safety task assignment before beginning work to look for all the hazards and also perform mental safety task assignments throughout the day to be aware of changing conditions.
  • Be aware of weather conditions that can put you in the line of fire.  Winds may put you in the line of fire if materials are not secured properly.  Always secure materials that could become airborne.
  • Never work directly under other employees. If you must work at an elevated heights barricade the area below you or use means to secure your tools.
  • If you are hoisting materials, barricade the area around the hoisting zone.
  • If you must use force when pushing or pulling always look at where you would go if you slipped or equipment gave way.
  • When working around equipment that is remote controlled or could potentially start up always lock and tag it out.
  • When working around mobile equipment make sure the operator knows you are there.  Never put yourself in a position where you are between a piece of mobile equipment and another object.   Never walk behind mobile equipment.  When moving mobile equipment in tight areas always use a spotter.
  • Never work around equipment with missing guards.
  • When using a straight edge and utility knife to cut metal or PVC use a safety straight edge.  If one is not available, secure the material and straight edge and always keep you hand above the knife.
  • Never attempt to operate equipment that is locked or tagged out or remove the lock or tag.

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