Transforming Safety Culture from a Program to an Organizational Principle
In today’s ever-changing downstream landscape, both operators and service providers are facing a number of varying factors, from feedstock and equipment disturbances, to regulatory and environmental variations, and market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now more than ever, it is important for companies to continuously review and improve their safety programs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States (OSHA) has stated that “Employers often find that process and other changes made to improve workplace safety and health may result in significant improvements to their organization’s productivity and profitability.”
In fact, safety programs are far past simple check-the-box exercises – it is now imperative to have an organizational safety culture that promotes an awareness and commitment to safety on behalf of each and every employee. Making this commitment to organizational safety involves visible engagement from leadership and establishing a set of expectations that are then incorporated throughout teams and departments.
According to EHS Today, “Effective and sustainable safety performance requires more than adherence to a checklist. It also requires establishing a company-wide culture in which every employee, from floor managers to shift employees to outside contractors, shares a commitment to safety. Just as critical is visible involvement by the organization’s leadership, making the ongoing pursuit of safe operations a core value within a company and establishing expectations that are understood, accepted and practiced”.
At Imubit, safety has always been a top priority for our employees, clients, contractors, and our engagement with the downstream industry. In order to truly transform our commitment to safety from a program to an integrated cultural facet, we established the Imubit Safety Committee to bring all Imubit employees together in empowering them to achieve and maintain a safe workplace under the company guiding principle of ‘build safety, operate safety’.
Our Safety Committee is comprised of over a dozen employees across various teams: Account Management, Product Management, Implementation Engineering, Integration Engineering, Economic Engineering Team, Marketing, and Sales. The Committee develops, reviews, and implements processes from employee engagement to client safety integration, to maintaining industry safety ratings, to protocols for safety, employee annual training and communications during incidents down to inclement weather. Our Committee’s five main objectives are:
- Engage employees in achieving a safe workplace.
- Promptly review all safety-related incidents and accidents.
- Conduct periodic workplace inspections, MOC reviews, identify hazards, and recommend methods for eliminating or controlling the hazards while ensuring this inspections process is audited periodically.
- Continuously evaluate workplace safety-and-health related processes, audit these related processes, and recommend to management how to improve these processes.
- Ensure management of change reviews and audits are conducted in accordance with the governing procedure.
Aside from these objectives, an essential priority of transforming our safety culture was making safety a part of everyday conversations. Various teams across the company now start meetings off with brief Safety Moments that address all kinds of important safety topics in and out of the office. An example of Safety Moments that we’ve shared include:
- Proper lifting techniques
- Preventing Eye Strain
- Mental and Emotional Health
- Landscaping and Gardening Safety
- Manufacturing Cybersecurity
- Proper Hydration and Heat-Related Illness
- Ladder Safety
- Hurricane Preparedness
- Hand Protection and Line of fire
- Cycling Safety
As the Safety Committee meets each month to discuss and improve the company’s safety culture, we continue to evolve the conversations we have with our co-workers, clients, and partners. Safety is much more than a handbook or a rating – a true transformation comes with bringing accountability and engagement into all employees’ daily lives and working continuously to improve the quality of life of our teams and the colleagues we work with.
For more information, visit imubit.com