Employee training is one of Triumvirate’s major areas of investment. Our safety training program encompasses regulatory training as required within the areas of OSHA, RCRA, DOT, IATA, and state and local regulations. Depending on the person’s role, s/he may also receive additional training such as confined space entry and rescue, specialized training to work with radioactive, biohazard or other wastes, and hazard recognition processes such as DuPont STOP. In addition, we conduct training updates within operational and departmental meetings.
James: Hello everyone, welcome to today's webinar on safety culture transformation. My name is James and I'll be your moderator for today's event. So before we get started, I'd like to give you a brief overview on what this webinar is going to entail as well as some housekeeping items.
Let's start with that slide show presentation on the importance of culture and safety along with the challenges associated with the changing culture and some considerations for implementing interdependent safety cultures. Our speakers will get into the agenda in more detail which is data framework and following all this we'll have a Q and A session. At this point, we'll be able to ask questions by typing them into the questions pane on the right-hand side of the screen.
Note that everyone's microphone will be turned off for the entirety of the webinar. But if you do have a question you can use that questions box to communicate and we'll address. Please keep in mind you will receive a copy of the slide deck and the presentation according tomorrow. All the materials that are presented today will be in your inbox tomorrow.
Today's speakers are Jim Holland and Tim Mooney, both from Triumvirate Environmental. Jim is the Director of Consulting here at Triumvirate and has experience as Turnaround Operations Executive who has led change in operations and delivered results oriented business transformation. He's done this in areas of safety, risk, and management in multiple industries including mining, chemical, and oil and gas.
Tim Mooney is Vice President of Operations and Services where he oversees all Triumvirate's environmental client services. Mr. Mooney oversees our four vertical markets in New England. This includes higher education, health care, web sciences, and industrial. He develops programs that promotes technical expertise in the quality of our services. With that I'll turn things over to Jim.
Jim: Thank you James. Thank you to those who joined us this morning, welcome. Our key message today is that leadership is not only an integral part of safety culture. It is in fact key in driving sustainable success. Ignition of which will drive spark beyond just processing systems.
Who is this for? The session today is for anyone who is in an organization, in a new organization and has a leadership role including operational leaders, senior management, and of course, site & corporate safety officers. As I'm assuming that most of our audience is in fact those safety officers. I'm sure I feel like we're reaching required here. If you want to share our content to people in your organization, outside your specific role, the opportunity to do that from our website is done on demand.
We hope that your key take aways today are following. One is a common understanding of culture and second is the definitions of safety culture and how it can affect your safety performance. We'd like to talk about why we see culture as being important and how leadership can and should build safety culture within the organization that you have to consider.
According to our agenda, we'll talk about three things. We'll talk four things. We'll talk about culture and why it is important, the challenge with changing culture, implementing and interdependent safety culture for those of you who are familiar with [00:03:26] I'm sure that's sounds you've heard before. My colleague Tim Mooney will be talking more about Triumvirate's own personal journey to achieve better outcomes by addressing our culture.
To start off with the common concepts. We believe that safety is a topic that is universally shared. It is where a company or an operation consider their safety programs in performance proprietary were considered confidential. In the abundance of ideas and programs stands the best practices on the public domain and easily accessible be it web or other safety organizations.
With the best of intentions, the question comes up why do companies seek very different outcomes on their safety performance? We believe that big part of that answer is culture. And specifically, safety culture of an operation and how it's adding or detracting from safety performance.
We believe that culture is both the first and last line of defense against injury and loss. And what we mean by that is that a good safety culture will ensure that it follows designated processes in systems that you set up. And when those systems and processes fail, they usually do at some point, a good culture will assert itself to drive a proper response for safe landing. Similar to what airlines practice all the time, what can go wrong and how do we respond to it.
Let me briefly remind ourselves with what we mean by a culture. If we're going to the Wikipedia or dictionary, culture is defined as that shared set of common values, experiences, and characteristics.
It is in fact learned by observation, experience. It is not taught. You can't teach culture in an organization. It's learned but it's not taught. That's a little bit of disconnect from our experiences as safety people trying to educate people of what we're doing. People will talk about the fact that culture is very much a living entity that requires investment or it will pacify, diminish or go away if it's not invested in.
Culture is very messy. It's not an equation where you put and it will yield an xy plus z equals y. And that's certainly a struggle with us in science and technology fields who lives for standards instead of inputs. We're very programmic approach to solving problems. The culture of safety then becomes those values and beliefs that are commonly shared in work place operations toward safe operations.
Something I've learned in the last couple of years is that it is very heavily influenced by factors outside the workplace, factors outside the gate. One of the biggest challenges leadership has is trying to address those factors that are beyond our control whether it's the community, business bound in the street. Limited number of things that don't occur inside the fact of gate but some have a direct impact on safety culture in the workplace.
We're going to ask you a quick question here. We're going to sense what people see themselves and what are some cultured values are outside the workplace if you fall in the scenario for me. You're at a lumber yard, outside a depot on a Saturday morning, it's very busy and you're watching stop timber hassle trying to shadow in the forklifts and lumber being cut.
As you wait for your order to be loaded in your truck, you observed an individual helping a lumber fill the order, the lumber is angry. He's had a response on an emergency call on a Saturday and he's going to miss his son’s football game. He's been very aggressive, almost abusive in getting his material loaded. And on his way, he told the staff to hurry up.
When they're finished, the staff person grabs a nearby pallet on top of his rack. So I ask you since this is confidential, answer this honestly, would you in fact stop this person in his act and intercede to have him use the correct ladder? I believe it's a quick pop up to answer yes or no very quickly. Getting to the answer with the results board.
James: So it's look like we got a good peer Jim. 85 percent said yes, in fact they would stop this individual and ask him to use the correct ladder. The other 15 percent say probably not.
Jim: It's sure thing very tough for us to intercede outside our comfort zone, outside the organization that we work day in and day out. I've seen an organization from operations and maintenance would never intercede when it that goes part of the safety culture that it probably talks about. That's a good result. I hope the professional safety people will in fact intercede when having the opportunity to do so.
We'll talk a little bit about what the challenges are in a changing culture. The changed culture have created a shared view of safety throughout the organization to be that extra defense to charge the offense.
All forms that we have worked with have made significant investments, time, money, and personal commitments to safety. This forms systems, processes, oversite of the engagement, PPE, all very tangible things that people hold. The hard part is the leadership owns the culture as well not just the processes and the systems.
Given the nature of the culture we touched on, it touches a series of inputs and outputs that we can improve. The questions is, "How do we commit the Tone at the Top translate that to the Facts on the Frontline?" Because introducing and embracing concepts of culture and values in most firms, especially those in technical or engineering endeavors remains a big uphill fight. It's something very amorphous. It's not lot of fun.
I've had people break out in hugs when we talk about culture. What transpires too often is the diffusion of the message, regarding safety for the simple reason that the lack of culture, common beliefs and experiences don't exist. 50 years ago when we worked next to GE plants [00:10:37] we had that culture that we've never seen before in the first day of work. That's certainly not there before.
This diffusion is due to differing value systems. When are we going to start in understanding how to make that change?
I'm sure all of you are probably familiar with the DuPont Bradley Curve which is one of the few instruments that talk about and try to use culture to address the injury rate. In terms of creating common values in addressing culture, we believe that creating that common language in a framework is a place to start.
Probably the Bradley Curve is one of the great examples. And there are a lot of other ones as well that help client work duties. As you know this talks about four stages, as you can see instincts, dependent, independent, and interdependent.
As you transform culture into that sort of natural instinct or supervisory role into team approach, what changes is that in our opinion, managing becomes less as someone enforcing the rules of process and systems of becoming more of a team player and a co-owner of the values of culture. If you look at what the Bradley Curve talks about is that leadership becomes more and more visible, more and more part of those daily conversations with their team and not just someone who sits there and enforce just rule and depend on people to do something.
I encourage you to go in and look at this. You can find again right thing about safety. This is a great discussion. Actually use a lot of good ways with our clients in the past.
Our second poll question is, "Where do you think, I'll go back to the slide, where do you think your safety falls under the DuPont safety curve?" Is it in the supervisory, dependent, independent, or interdependent? And James is going to give us the results in a few minutes.
James: Okay Jim, we got the results here. Looks like the majority, 51 percent are dependent on supervision, another 23 percent are interdependent, and 15 reactive.
Jim: Sure and that's certainly consistent with probably the state of the industry. Younger people coming in the workforce all the time. Different value systems requires that there's a need to create a very heavily supervised safety operation. The question we get quite often is, "Where do you start this journey if you want to move from that dependent to interdependent safety culture?"
Obviously to build a successful safety culture you need to know where you are and you need to know where you want to go. Having a framework in your organization that you can understand and follow. And I think the Bradley Curve is a great example but there are plenty of other ones as well here promoting a specific point of view.
We recommend that our clients spend little on outside investment and a lot of internal. What we mean by that is that external investment help frame where your opportunities are and create an action plan objectively and identify those short circuits, those shunts, and roadblocks around providing safety culture. As an objective, giving proper solutions. The internal investments of course is the willingness of the organization to undertake this.
I use an analogy using a personal trainer. He/She can show you what to do and how to do it but if that person can't do push ups, then that's the challenge we have.
In terms of some quick win and opportunity to start the process really, what can I start with? Think about how visibility in leadership. Is it leading in safety? Is it not being a delegation to the environmental health and safety department? And not a Friday afternoon activity where I go out and try to do my safety interactions, you know, one a month?
We offer and suggest using those interventions as a learning tool, not something punitive, and done as a team. If you have a senior person, bring a junior person along and show how it's done. Show how it's supposed to be engaged in rather than addressed out if you will. Identify those and reinforce it. Ask yourself honestly, are your systems and processes enhancing safety or people see them as a hindrance and try to work around them.
And lastly, if there's an opportunity to start this process, don't present safety as a trade off or production of output but rather safety as a value and not just a target. There are many more opportunities to talk about but right now I'm going to turn you over to my colleague Tim Mooney who's going to talk about Triumvirates personal journey.
Tim: Thank you Jim. Thank you everybody for joining us today. My goal in this segment is to build upon Jim's message and to share with you some of our own stories and successes relative to improving our own safety culture.
Before I dive into that, I want to give you a little context on what Triumvirate’s background is, a little flavor for the work that we do. Our services expand from professional services to truck driving to field services to environmental construction to waste management. We have about 480 people in the organization ranging from Maine to Florida.
As James reiterated earlier, we have four vertical markets we focus on. Essentially, the type of work we do ranges quite significantly from highly dangerous confined entry work to handling explosives chemistry to providing professional services.
A little context on our background in safety, we for a long time, we've been in business since 1988 have what I recall a fairly decent safety record. As the time approach closer to 2011, we started to realize that something was wrong with our programs and with our culture.
Pre-2011, I'm focusing at his point on 2009 to 2011 era before we implement the changes. We really saw a dramatic increase in our injury rates. Severity of our injuries were significantly increasing. We had a real lack of control surrounding our safety results.
With great intention we always talk about safety being important. I think in sort of in line with what Jim said, the employees felt like maybe we weren’t' serious about safety so there was sort of a delusion or diffusion of a message. There's a bit in the end of this slide here, although our intentions are very good, I think our history from 1988 to 2009 was largely by accident and not by any particular strategy in terms of approaching our safety culture.
What did some of the efforts look like pre-2011? Some of these probably sound familiar to all organization. We had a very large focus on lagging indicators such TRIR, EMR, something that certainly we'd look at and pay attention to but again it's strictly into lagging indicators.
We had incentives that were tied to say hey safety is important. If supervisors, managers keep people safe then we'll provide goal incentive and reward for that. But that proved to be that there was decent share in collaborative information this people report information as it could affect co-workers incentive.
Training programs were awareness based. We had a very solid training program we believe we did at that time. But the awareness level wasn't working well enough to help our team translate those skills specifically to action and put them into job specific situations. That was a mistake we made as well.
We had probably what many of you have, a lot of signs around for safety and safety glasses and PPE and procedure. It certainly made us feel good but as we talk about later, that really is not the ingredient that's going to give you the outcome that you want.
Our mistakes in our instance were handled in a negative light. I don't want you to think that we had an organization that when somebody got hurt or incident that we would run around and create this obvious negative nature. Those were really subtleties.
Oftentimes when instance occurred we would ask ourselves, "Does that staff member have common sense?" Why would they do something like this, something you saw even on the Bradley Curve? We weren't asking the right questions.
Near misses were not tracked and not well understood. In fact, in hindsight, we look at our near miss reporting process and we learned that the process was quite cumbersome. Once the person went to the difficulty of submitting a near miss and getting critical feedback on what they miss on their near miss report and then completing it again, they would never hear about it again. Or they would hear about it 6 or 8 months later which is obviously problematic.
A lot of our problem solving every time we encounter the question what we can do better was very checklist orientated. We often would say, "Are we training our people?" Yes, check. "Do we have a procedure?" Yes, check. "Is our site supervisor filling out a health and safety plan?" Yes they are, check.
All seemed well in regards to procedure and process but something was missing. We reached this turning point. We had to transform our own words around "being safe" into action. It just simply wasn't working. We needed to get ownership and senior management took the challenge head on.
We essentially reached the point where we had no problems. We knew less about them and we realized our model is unsustainable. Investments were definitely necessary. We needed to make sure that we understood what that investment looked like.
And it really through reflection and outside reading of different material, and getting different perspective on things, we learned that investments were largely of time and commitment from our leaders and managers and not any specific purchase of a piece of protective equipment or engineering equipment that would help manage the risk around. Certainly a necessary ingredient but not something that was going to lead us to the results that we're looking for.
We discovered ultimately through a series of reflection and brainstorm sessions that the weakness of our safety culture was on us leaders and not on the employees and we have to do something different. Again, to reinforce, we would see and observe behaviors that we would scratch our heads and say "Why?" Why would somebody do something like this, that these pictures illustrate, when we just a had trainings two weeks ago, a week ago, a month ago, to the contrary to teach them from right or wrong?
We didn't have any answers for this. But we knew not having an answer wasn't good enough. The idea of Behavioral Safety is obviously something everyone's probably familiar with. But just to kind of set the stage from where we took it from here, we really again said we have the policies. We have the trainings. We have the PPE but yet we were having injuries. Why?
And we knew that the employees, being our operation is very decentralized, where people are doing work outside of our per view and they can't always have the senior most supervision at all times, we needed to come up with a better solution and have a positive impact on making our employee decisions be better that they have then. We realized that our challenge was now that we need to find a way to have a sustainable way to inspire and motivate our staff to make good in forming decisions.
Therefore, we took it upon ourselves to study some of the behavioral science concepts to better understand our platform which led us to this, the ABC Model which is a term used in a book called Safe by Accident. For full credit, which was authored by Julie Agnew and Aubrey Daniels.
I happen to see Aubrey Daniels speak before he wrote this book about behavioral science relative to how do you get the most out of an employee. He literally wrote this book on safety with the co-author. But everything I learned in that motivational session that he had wasn't specific to safety. It was very transferrable into how do you provide for a better safe culture and for better safe environment.
The ABC Model is pretty simple. The antecedents are sort of the ante as you will. You've got your training, procedures, signs, rules, checklists often something we all look at and say we have. It all comes out where we want them to be. And this quote from the book of Safe by Accident, I think tells the story. "The pattern of consequences determines the performers behavior."
And what we realized is we needed to take a harder look at consequences. Now the term consequences seems to have a negative connotation too but if you take a step back and see everything from negative to positive to neutral to even possibly if you say nothing in any given moment, what's that going to do for ones learned behavior.
To give you a little context on these terms of consequences, feel free to read the book. It's actually very short, powerful read, gets right to the point. On the left-hand side you got your most powerful motivators of behavior and on the right-hand side you got the least powerful motivators.
So to give you a few examples of what these acronyms mean, the PIC on the left stands for Positive Immediate Certain. Anytime you have a positive, immediate, certain outcome the behavior and the impact of behavior is most powerful. Conversely if you have a negative future uncertain, it's least effective.
Now giving example of real life negative future uncertain, everybody has at one point in time that in their car has driven over their speed line. And the question remains why do people do it? It's really embedded in this behavioral science. It's a negative future uncertain outcome that you're going to get in an accident and get injured.
And therefore the behavior continuously gets reinforced and even though it's a bad behavior it's something everybody gets reinforcement to not having an accident. Just a quick illustration of the different ideas out there relative to consequences and how they affect behavior, I'll just run through the rest of them real quick.
NIC is a negative immediate certain. PIU, positive immediate uncertain. I think you kind of get the idea from there. One of the things that we learned through studying leadership in this model of ABC is the PIC part of it, the positive immediate certain which has the most powerful impact on behavior is closely tied to consistent management leadership dialogue about safety with our staff.
Essentially we started to make some changes, the lagging indicator concept transformed into look at and leading indicators which included a very robust near miss program with real time tracking and real time feedback to the employee. There's a built in mechanism of reward for reporting information.
We also had an employee based observation program or have I should say that includes positive observations which includes positive reinforcement in tracking along those lines to a more immediate reward mechanism for the employees doing a good job.
The incentives about not getting injured went away. We focused more on the idea of what we can do to create real time feedback and more transparency in our program. The idea of getting an incentive for someone not getting injured was a positive future uncertain outcome which really didn't have a very good effect on our decisions relative to behavior.
But putting in more real time feedback loops, and collaboration and discussion around reducing risk increased the PIC part of the equation.
Training went from awareness based to skill based. We really studied this ideas of mind’s eye which is really a simulation of what could happen in any job that we perform and we tied that to a lot more hands on format training which made it a lot easier for the skills to be translated into the work.
Our safety signage remained but we realized that it came with great limitation. Instead of saying, "We're having too many incidents. We needed to buy more signage promote safety.” we just maintained our level of signage for adequate information sharing but realized that it wasn't going to be the solution.
Mistakes were no longer handled in a negative light. We used them in a more collaborative, discussion format and to really understand the root cause and seeks input from our stakeholders including our front line staff performing a lot of these difficult tasks.
And then again, the near miss program became a lot more robust. The feedback loop was increased dramatically. Ultimately, instead of being checklist, we realized that we had to have consistent positive dialogue to seek and search better understanding of the problem.
I'm going to move in to leadership in actions which is going to give you some specific examples of things we employed in Triumvirate to increase the PIC part of the program of the ABC Model and to improve our safety culture. And hopefully to improve our safety performance.
The theme obviously with the quote on the bottom is I'll talk about the consequences impact on behavior. I do want to reinforce that what you say is just as important as what you don't say, something we talked about our management team quite often.
Jim brought up the poll question, "What would you say on the person on the ladder?" If it's worth anything, obviously there’s a missed opportunity for improvement there. That's where the culture comes in. People need to feel safe about being able to stop and say anything to anyone at any time without being at risk of that person putting him down or making it a difficult environment to work in.
Some of the things that we did, we immediately increased our employee involvement. And that was on two major fronts, one is we invested in a program that allows every one of our employees smartphones to collect all of their monthly safety observations real time on their phones and syncs up in our system real time.
We're able to track and trend and respond to those observations. Every employee has tied into their obligations of employment and those are measured in their performance review.
In addition, we launched a very erratic employee safety program, meetings I should say where it's chaired and ran by an employee in that case and co-sponsored by senior manager. We also implemented an immediate distribution and follow up of near misses and incidents with a lot more transparency in report sharing and information sharing.
So that if somebody had an accident or near miss, that information will be shared as real time as possible with the rest of the team so that they too could learn from that mistake. It is never done with any malice and people understand now that it is just part of our culture and it's not trying to make anybody look bad.
We implemented after action reviews which is a military term with our senior management. It is a mandatory requirement. Any injury that occurs requires an after action review with the full complement of the senior management and the affected employees and their supervisor with theme about learning and how do we improve.
We implemented weekly local safety meetings which is chaired by the Vice President. A lot of times safety meetings are chaired by the H & S person and we decided that's it's not going to be the way we're going to do it. The H & S in our group is going to be a significant player in these meetings and in these processes but we needed the senior management to be accountable and responsible for these activities.
We also have a monthly corporate safety meeting which is across the organization which is chaired every month by our Chief Operating Officer. Again, setting the tone from the top. Mandatory job site visits by managers with safety documentation. Getting our managers to be involved and obligated to be involved and motivated to be involved so that they too can help us observe and follow up and solve these problems.
We also implemented something called the morning duty program which is every morning when our crews are assembling together to get their materials ready to go out and do the jobs that they're going to perform. We found that the morning sometimes start at five in the morning and they didn't have access to ask questions to the people that could help them.
We made this mandatory rotation which is no longer something people see as problematic but it becomes something that's collaborative in nature. And we're able to get management talking to front line supervisors every morning to help with problem resolution before the problems occur.
Last piece but certainly not the least important at all are safety dashboard metrics which is leading to safety conversations and accountability. Every day and every week we have information which is shared to managers relative to our safety efforts.
And as a small example, I too get them and I had one just last week that was a summary of an incident that was really a near miss. It brought me to think about what the root cause was and it gave me a lot of concern and a lot of reason to pause. I called that employee who reported it immediately and thanked them for the reporting of the information.
I asked them to help explain to me in more detail what it was they're encountering and how we can help them. That is a small example of how the culture becomes a part of the way you do business. It's interactive. It's collaborative and it's everybody involved and talking about it at all levels.
Ultimately these measures really help transform our safety culture from what I call something that was a periodic episode with negative vibes to something that's more consistent of collaborative, and positive in nature.
What were our results? As you can see, pre-2011 we are consistently above 3.00 TRIR and rising. And we've consistently been dropping that number since then. A bit of importance, the amount of incidents and near miss are being reported and more than double.
And that isn't to say that people are out making more mistakes foreseeing that there's more problems than we used to have. It's because people are paying attention more and it's a positive recognition for them to report this information that will help us act collaboratively resolve these issues. We found it ultimately some of the side benefits of these efforts increased employee satisfaction, increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately increased productivity which is the do it right the first time methodology.
Our remarks on my piece and then we'll head towards this for Q and A. Couple of other things I think you should consider that we too have considered and ask yourself for question. Do you have written safety goals and you factored in your performance review process?
And do you have the metrics and information about your evaluation. That's something we implemented significant measures on. And it goes to all that people will do what you measure. This is something that's very well intertwined in our performance measure process.
Do you publish information? Do you regularly discuss safe work performance? So again, is it consistent? Is it transparent, etc.? Many people will require pre-job plans and the use of JHA or health and safety plans etc. But then back to what you don't say is just as important as to what you do say.
If you have a program requirement and people allow work to occur without those procedures being followed then you again reinforce that bad behavior which will lead to bad consequences. Some people may not have this process which you would want to implement but once a process is in place you wanted to make sure that it is a standard part of your communication and your reinforcement.
Again in near miss, I can't say enough. This is one tool that I would say was transformative to the organization. I think in some respects, everybody has some way to report near misses but that's really not wasn't important. What's important is what you do with it, how you track it, and who you talk to about it and how long did you communicate it back to the front line or people doing the work that a reporting near misses.
Ultimately, this is the ultimate question of you and your leadership. Have you considered how your consequences have established the impact of a safe work environment within your own organization? And that's something that as we struggle with how we're going to transform our programs, we finally found that this was really the root cause of our problems.
It was no longer appropriate to say our employees didn't listen when they were trained. They did it wrong or did it incorrectly. We needed to really drive our culture to a different level.
So Jim, I'll leave this last part to you and we'll head into Q and A.
Jim: Thank you Tim. As I said we worked a lot with clients in this arena on specifically addressing culture. People asked about our program. This is very fad line of how we typically engage clients around doing it.
It's a 4 to 6 week analysis and action plan. It's a very deep dive into the operating organization at all levels. We do it in partnership with the management team and we are oftentimes addressing those elements. We go in working with clients in good safety program.
It's really a question of how can I take it to the next level. And that occurs with courageous conversations, self-awareness as you can read there, new insights, some adaptive solutions versus technical solutions for a change going forward. We build our solutions around facts, evidence, and our judgements as safety experts and working with your age.
And ultimately provide you action plans that are built for the long term. Again, analogous with that trainer. Ultimately what we do is we move your organization from a hope to believe that your safety program will be successful in the long term. And now I leave it out to James our moderator to open up for questions.
James: Thanks Jim.
Jim: Thank you very much.
James: Thank you both for the presentation and for really kicking off this conversation as we head into the Q and A portion of the webinar. We got some questions already waiting in the queue for you both to address. I think we'll start now. And I also encourage those of you who didn't ask question yet. I've got some time to work with so please feel free to send one for either Jim or Tim and we'll do our best to get to as many questions as we can. The first question, this could be open to both of you is, "Where and how do I get started with this transformation?" You just touched on that Jim but if you could provide some more light into that arena.
Jim: Sure, as I said, I think obviously the communication and the transparency are issues that organization often deal with. With sites spread-out, you have different employees working on different shifts, different parts of the plant for example. Making it really hard to engage them and bring that transparency into what you're doing.
Like I said a framework that they can understand it and be part of it. Again, there are a lot of programs out there. We believe that driving that through that framework is very helpful to an organization. Things I talked about earlier about starting point around visibility. Not just your H & S group but your senior management, your operational team, are they visible in the discussion around safety culture.
It's not a delegation to the H & S group. It's something that they want to have. When we talk about visible leadership, often in this scenario is an opportunity to do that. Interventions as we talk about Friday afternoon activity. Take someone with you. Take a junior person with you from the organization and show them how it's done so that they can feel confident to engage people that they made out now.
Like a guy who's trying to pull a piece of pipe on standing on a pallet. Do they feel comfortable engaging staff behavior or helping people recognize what they've done. Then again ask yourself, are your systems and processes, people are truly using or they just trying to work around it whenever possible. And then lastly, ask yourself if there's a perception that safety is a trade-off to production of output. That's really the question. Because you could do both well, then you are in a great interdependent organization and it takes some work to get there and again that investment is typically long term.
James: Thanks Jim and going back to the DuPont Bradley Curve, we have an attendee that asked, "If the organization is in a dependent stage or reactive stage, is it necessary to go through the dependent stage on your way to interdependence. Do you have to go through each phase?"
Jim: I think that it has to do with the maturity of the organization. I think you have a young group of colleague. I can think if you're working in oil and gas you have hiring and firing so in any given day you can have a large percentage of young employees so I think that you do kind of have to take that step through.
You may not spend a lot of time there but you do have to do it because it's not a leap frog. It's just not possible to do that. I think you have to do the steps you have to do. You have to do the push ups. You have to do the pull ups to get to that point. It's not something you can take a shortcut on.
James: Right and it takes time. Tim, a question for you, "As far as improvement and you show us the graph of improvement over the years. How long did it take to actually start to notice and realize that you were having some improvement?"
Tim: That's good question. It's kind of tied a little bit to what Jim was trying to answer. I think from our own experience we didn't know what to expect but we certainly have a high sense of urgency around change management.
In hindsight, looking back on it, it looked like it was probably about eight to twelve months process. And that is to say that it's always a continuous journey. And it's only as good as today. But in order to get the momentum, going in the right direction into change and sort of turn the Titanic around. It's about an eight to twelve month process to get things rolling in the right direction and to start to see not only the results change. Because when the results are changing before your eyes, you wonder if they're sustainable. But you start to see the way people approach things differently unfold in front of you. And that's when it becomes sort of its own reinforcer if you will and then positive momentum gains from that.
James: Right and we have a two part question that kind of follow that. "Did it cost more to go about that transformation and is Triumvirate saving money now that we've gone through that process?"
Tim: You know the cost part is, from what we look at was largely again time and commitment. We did have to re-prioritize how people allocated their time. But I think when you look at the entire body of work that people were performing, there was time built in there because there was so much time wasted in terms of how we were chasing our tails and extinguishing circumstances and situations.
That ultimately by being more proactive and more sophisticated culture, I believe that it actually has reduced the cost which ties to the savings which is both a little bit of intangible around people saving time ultimately because we're not chasing our tail.
And then the second part of that is, we've had some unintended positive consequences which were not part of our original intentions if you will. Obviously our safety ratings have become very favorable which is reduced work insurance requirements, etc., which save the company money. The value of that is something that we don't really track as a KPI or anything that we ever intended to shoot for.
But it's measurable, it's impactful. But again it was a secondary consequence that was a positive consequence but not something we originally planned around.
James: Sure not a priority. I think this one's also for you Tim. "Can you explain how you developed interactive training as part of this?”
Tim: Yes, actually that's a good question. The interactive training, what we did is we took a look at the types of problems we were having. And believe it or not it's actually being in a very high risk, dangerous atmosphere, dangerous chemical environment, our incidents were heavily towards ergonomic type of situations, physical injuries.
We actually took that as a point of emphasis and involved a few of our people that are doing the work from the sales to understand where we can get the most hands on training impact that would be most transferrable. Everything from teaching better technique on lifting, better technique on using sharp devices, better knowledge to help, I guess make better decisions relative to the use of engineering controls or equipment for heavy lifting.
We're able to pin point some of those activities. So then we involved our training group to take it from a PowerPoint sort of awareness level to a much more interactive scenario based training where we took some of the actual scenarios that have resulted in actual problems from looking at our records. We built our head into the training.
Essentially the training involved people coming in, being given real life situations and circumstances and we would actually bring it out to some of our open parking lot spaces and allow them to physically handle the items in question that we were trying to deliver reinforces on.
James: Thanks for that explanation Tim. And the same attendee sort of have a follow up and we might be able to bring Jim in here. "If the leadership has a tendency towards punitive consequences for safety incidents, what can be done to convince them it's the wrong approach?"
Tim: Well, my answer to that would be help educate them. That work we talked about earlier is based upon behavioral science. It's hard to dispute the evidence because the book is upon empirical data etc. A lot of the studies that were done, research that was done around behavioral science.
My own personal learning mechanism is sort of triple side of free. When I have the opportunity to read the book and reflect upon the reality of it. I really made a lot of sense. It appealed to my logical side. That for me was transformative.
I never really intended it to be a negative consequence environment but because everybody gets stressful when these things occur, some of our worst behaviors can come out from that. I would recommend from my point of view having the person who asked the question get comfortable with themselves with the concepts and behavioral safety and rigorous science and share that and help encourage get their leadership or his leadership to take part in that exercise.
Jim: It becomes a vicious circle because employees can vote with their feet. That if you continue to have punitive responses and you also realize that your good people are taking the front of it. And they'll leave then you find yourself with newer, less experienced people that's causing you more accident and so you're going to find yourself in the downward spiral.
Fact is that some of the work I've done we’ve actually called the management for that very reason. It happened that we have a courageous conversation about whether or not we have the right people to be right in this place if we want to continue to do that.
James: That's good advice. Thank you both. So kind of moving forward here, Alexa has a question, "What suggestion would you have for a company where the perception of risk is very low? Since many times it's a major instance or accident that prompts change. What would you do in this scenario?"
Tim: It's a great question. You know similar in nature that sort of example that negative future uncertain outcome therefore it's least powerful that it could be. I think in all of us when we get stuck on our own four walls of our company, our perception becomes jaded.
I would encourage some outside perspective to show leadership whether that be through other companies that have had struggles and problems and reaching out to them and asking them to help them share what they've learned from that. I would agree that companies often become compelled to make change when they get hit between the eyes.
But you know it's a great question from Alexa and I would say that the best job you can do to convince certain leaders that they can impact over larger group of people and influence change, to start getting them to work with you to see from the outside point of view other people's perspective, third party experiences to realize that it's going to happen to them.
That's exactly the whole behavioral science issue. Because nothing has happened it reinforces the idea that nothing should change. That's obviously a dangerous pattern.
James: Thanks and there's some questions more coming up about the training I think. It definitely pits some interest here Tim and this one is specific to you from Eric. He asked, "How did you gauge the positive impact of moving towards a hands on training in terms of information retention and improvements and safety?"
Tim: Well, you know, with any training there's an element of belief that you have to have that certainly the key ingredients. So what I would say first is that training part was not going to be the end of all to sum all the problems but we did see it as critical ingredient.
And what we realized is that when we are uncovering issues there was certainly a big disconnect between awareness level and being able to do applied science if you will.
Because we have observation programs on three levels. We have manager observation. We have employee to employee observation. And then we have senior management observation. All those observations were becoming quickly reinforced with positive behavior during the execution of the work because we could see firsthand that people were able to translate that skill more effectively. Like anyone else though, no one training is going to surely stall the issue. So you have to refresh the trainings. You have to reinforce the trainings. You have to make sure that the observation program doesn’t undermine the trainings.
That was something we actually learned going back a number of years that we would say in training, "You must do the following." And then our observation groups would not bring up and discuss issues that were counter to those requirements.
In other words, we were looking the other way not even knowing. And that became sort of domino effect. Ultimately, the hands on training is something again I mentioned earlier was cloaked about front line people. And we're able to see through the buy in of their own involvement that we were able to impact things more specifically rather than assume what they needed.
We got them involved and were specific with what they needed. That I think had staying power because it wasn't somebody who was a trainer that was disconnected from the front line realities that's trying to implement hands on training. I think that the co-development piece was a very important ingredient.
James: Thanks Tim, some really good advice there. At this point, we got a few minutes left. I think we would take another question or two. Anything else that we don't quite get to or if anyone has a question about the webinar feel free to reach out to us. I will be following up with an email of materials.
You can always respond with a question that comes to mind later on. Here's a question from Kirk. He would like some more insights on how near misses are recorded.
Tim: Good question. We used to have a paper system. We had to go find the paper somewhere that was no one really knew where it was. I'm half joking and half serious. And then the paper will be recorded according to the EHS professional to be reviewed. As I talked about earlier, it will be lost in the shuffle more often than not, not always but more often than not.
Today our smart phones are all equipped with our front line staff to capture observation data including near misses through an internal program that then goes into our internal database. And it's captured in a system where we can more easily and predictably report on.
Picture the old version was a piece of paper sitting on a folder in somebody's drawer. Today it sits in a database that pushes auto notifications to a series of managers upon being submitted. And is immediately brought to their attention for discussion and awareness.
And then because it's in a database, we can track trend report, discuss and make correlations between that and training and procedure and culture.
James: That's great and can you provide detail on that software program. We actually have an attendee who wants to know, "Did we have to buy software to do this? And if so, can you share that information?"
Tim: We did. We bought and we probably have to distribute this because I'm not the IT professional. But it's a program that is on a platform that I understand that is a combination of something called canvass of intellects. The canvasses are sort of the front end piece where the information is captured. And the intellects become sort of the data warehouse if you will.
Unfortunately, I don't know the name and license number. But yes, it happens to be something we bought to help with other such matters. Yes, we did not build it entirely but we had parts of it that we have to develop. The front end piece had to be developed through this platform called canvass. That's right about I know to be honest with you.
James: I think that's what she's looking for here so we can always find that out and follow up later. It's more specific right? Great! We have about a minute left. I think at this point we're kind of wrap things up. So I want to thank you both Tim and Jim for your insights in this very important topic of safety culture and some strategies to transform and improve.
Before we move on, I know we have on final slide. Do you guys have anything else to add or to close with?
Tim: Well, I would just like to thank everybody. Ultimately, I think there is no beginning and there is no end in this process. It's a journey that is a continuous improvement process. Although we feel like through Jim's experience and my own, we've learned a lot and certainly have a lot of perspective. It's something we're always looking to learn more about. I would encourage people to take it and see it as that because it is truly a journey.
Jim: I would add that having your employees and managers as partners. That's about leading and not an authority when it comes to safety. It's a shared experience. It's a common value system that we have to dwell.
James: Very good, thank you both. Thank you everyone for joining this webinar. We appreciate you attending and participating in our poll question and for listening. And I will add that the book by Aubrey Daniels that Tim was referring to, we do have a few.
And you may have noticed in our event page, we stated that we would be distributing a few of these copies to attendees. We would like everyone to withdraw and get those up. That concludes the webinar.
Please expect an email from me within the next day with the link to survey. We would appreciate your feedback on what you thought as well as links to the recording and the PowerPoint slides. So that's all we have today. Thanks for your time and we will see you next time. Have a good one. Bye.