By Cal Beyer and Mike O’Neil
Editor’s Note: Annually at its mid-year meeting, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) presents various Operational Excellence Awards. One of the awards is for safety innovation. Lakeside Industries has been awarded NAPA’s Operational Excellence in Safety Innovation Award three times in the past 10 years—in 2007, 2014 and 2016.
The 2016 Safety Innovation Award was presented to Lakeside Industries for the company’s annual safety competition known as The Super Bowl of Safety, which began in 2015. Lakeside Industries had embarked on a cultural transformation of its safety culture in 2014. The company was seeking to expand four key dimensions of employee involvement in safety: engagement, education, empowerment and enforcement. The expectation is that by expanding the first three dimensions, enforcement in the form of expanded voluntary compliance for safety will grow.
All safety programs and processes are focused on injury and incident prevention. However, before successful outcomes are attained it is necessary to challenge the status quo of the traditional safety program. This requires breaking “old school” bad habits and teaching new approaches using best practices. As with all change management efforts, transforming a safety culture takes time and hard work. The Super Bowl of Safety was devised to be a catalyst to accelerate employee engagement and organizational learning.
The foundation for The Super Bowl of Safety was interactive all employee safety meetings at each division and affiliated company. An interactive quiz was developed incorporating general knowledge of safety policies, procedures, best practices and training requirements in each major function of asphalt production and paving. This included plant operations and maintenance, grade adjustments, trucking, paving, flagging and traffic control, as well as equipment maintenance.
The quiz is team-based and timed. Interdisciplinary groups are formed from the various job functions. This has expanded safety awareness and contributed to cross-training. The variety of the quiz questions requires such teamwork. A purpose of focusing on teams is to reinforce safety leadership at all levels of the organization and local hazard recognition and problem solving in the field. See the sidebar highlighting representative questions from the quiz.
There have been three primary elements in The Super Bowl of Safety. The elements are summarized in Figure 1 below/at right.Lakeside has been focused on building a culture of safety leaders at all levels of the company. The Super Bowl of Safety is a comprehensive assessment of each division’s and affiliated company’s safety processes and practices. The Super Bowl of Safety is also a learning tool that highlights best practices. The assessment is both diagnostic and prescriptive; that is, it highlights both the current level of safety execution and how to get to the next level.
The safety management gap analysis is completed with local management. These best practices are the so-called leading indicators, the prevention based activities focused on reducing the frequency and severity of incidents and injuries. Two sample sections from the assessment portion are highlighted in figures 2 and 3, respectively. Most divisions and affiliated companies have developed action plans of corrective actions focused on closing safety gaps identified during The Super Bowl of Safety Assessment processes. This demonstrates expanding management accountability for safety.
Lakeside Industries has seen tangible and intangible benefits from The Super Bowl of Safety, including the following representative benefits:
- Created a fun and interactive way of building employee engagement in safety
- Provided focus on leading indicators, the safe work practices focused on injury prevention
- Clarified expectations of safety responsibilities for supervisors
- Increased ownership of safety at the Divisional level
- Expanded safety management accountability
Employees at all levels are competitive by nature. Reports for activity measures and performance measures have been shared annually with divisional operational managers. These have been the traditional lagging indicators. This helped divisional managers see how their divisions measured up to their peers. The Super Bowl of Safety has taken that concept and turned from just lagging indicators to leading indicators.The Super Bowl of Safety created a fun competition within the division and between our operating divisions and affiliated companies. In the end employees asked for more. There were a few moments where employees were disheartened, but in the end they didn’t look at their performance as success or failure, but as opportunity to get better. Fundamentally, The Super Bowl of Safety reflects an age-old adage in safety: If it’s measured, it gets managed.
Sample Questions from Super Bowl of Safety Quiz
1. Pictograms and signal words are used to inform employees about chemical products used in the workplace. Under the Global Harmonization Standard (GHS), pictograms and signal words are used on:
a. Soap racks
b. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
c. Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
d. Only on Hazmat truck placards
e. Pictograms and signal words are no longer required
2. Who should be having Safety 24/7 Conversations?
a. All Managers and Supervisors
b. Only Foremen who have been trained
c. Divisional Safety Committee Members
d. All employees at work, home and play
e. Risk Management & Safety Team
3. In the operations performed by Lakeside Industries, what is the primary potential hazard contained in dust?
4. What is the most common type of employee injury resulting in lost workdays reported by company employees in the past 5 years?
a. Foreign Object in Eye
c. Cuts or lacerations
f. Heat Stress
5. True or False: 411 is the number to call to request locates for underground utilities at home and at work?
Answer Key1. c2. d3. c 4. b5. False
Cal Beyer is the director of risk management and Mike O’Neil is the safety & claims director for Lakeside Industries in Issaquah, Washington. Lakeside Industries is a third-generation family owned hot mix asphalt producer and paving contractor. Lakeside Industries is a long-time member of NAPA and its state affiliates in Washington and Oregon. Beyer and O’Neil are the senior members of Lakeside’s Risk Management and Safety Team.