By Vickee Flynn
Several years ago, John Turek, ES&H Safety Engineer,
introduced behavior-based safety at SLAC. [See Behavior-Based Safety
Process Underway in the
July 2001 issue of TIP.]
Site Engineering and Maintenance Department (SEM) has
been using the Safety Towards Avoiding Risk Today (START) process since
that time. The purpose of behavioral based safety training is to reduce
the probability of injuries by: observing work practices for both safe and
at-risk behaviors, talking with workers about performing jobs in a safer
manner, and asking for input to improve safety.
Since 1999, the START process has made improvements to
safety within SEM, as noted by David Toews, Facilitator of the START
Steering Committee. "Workers are performing more safe behaviors than
at-risk behaviors," he said. "This is brought upon by workers being more
aware of safe activities while performing their jobs." Workers feel the
process is a worthwhile investment, and they are willing to work together
to change unsafe areas and practices. Another improvement has been that
communication between workers and supervisors has improved.
There are more Level 3 observations by peers who are
trained Observers. Level 3 observations ensure there is two-way
communication between the observer and worker. The best observation is one
in which the worker provides feedback. There were over 500 observations in
2002, up from 355 the previous year. Has this made a difference in safety?
"Yes," said Toews.
Toews asked workers in SEM to see what they thought of the
behavior based process, and if they thought it had made a positive impact
on the working environment. A few of the comments he received are:
George Sandoval, Lead Painter: "Any safety process that
keeps employees from getting injured is good."
Daniel Manley-Arrieta, Utility Mechanic: "I noticed that
our safety awareness has improved from three years ago. We plan our jobs
better now than we did in 1998."
Ron Pacheco, Service Mechanic: "I see workers becoming
more aware of safe activities. Having other employees remind us of the
safe activities we are doing and the At-Risk activities we need to improve
on is a good way of keeping us on our toes."
Eddie McGee, Health Physics Technician: "The process has
been a real good thing. The process keeps us all reminded that safety is
first. I notice working habits are changing."
Jose Regalado, High Voltage Technician: "Personally I am
more conscious of my actions at work and at home, and the process has made
this impact in my life."
Toews has been the Facilitator of the START program since
June 2001 in SEM; Lorenzo Lowery will take over the Facilitator role in