The Fernley, NV plant distributed coins to all employees at the beginning of 2017 to keep in their pockets as part of the “Take Five for Safety” campaign. The vision of the non-routine tasks program is to use the Take Five approach to take a breath before starting a task. The program was designed to encourage the right behavior and to make that behavior second nature for all employees. It doesn’t matter what task the employee is completing, it is important for them to Take Five before starting. Generally, injuries or unsafe situations occur because of a lapse in judgement. Phil Zlaket, EH & S specialist, said that the program is “building a reflex memory or pattern so that it applies not only to work life, but everyday life as well. The steps of the program become second nature.”
The coins the employees were given have the JM core values (people, passion, perform and protect) on one side and the steps to Take Five on the other side. The five steps to practice before beginning any task are; Stop, Breathe, Think, Plan, and Proceed. “Stop” means that when an upset condition occurs the employee needs to stop instead of jumping right into the task, which could result in an unfortunate event. Upset conditions include, sharp edges, ergonomic hazards, electrical safety, slippery surfaces, and other similar hazards. “Breathe” reminds the employees to take a deep breath, clear their mind and begin assessing the situation. This will help make safe decisions. “Think” means that the employee needs to think about what is in front of them and the potential hazards associated with the upset condition. After the employee takes time to think, they must “Plan”, which entails, planning necessary steps to tackle the issue at hand. It is important to communicate with the whole team to make sure everyone is aware of what is happening. Finally, the employee can “Proceed.” This means that it is time to get to work, but not time to let their guard down. Incidents can occur in the blink of an eye, which is why safety is so important.
Having these steps on each coin reminds all employees to think before they act and then act in a safe way. The Fernley leadership team conducts daily “peer coin checks” to ensure all employees are keeping the coins in their pockets and know how important these steps are to safety. If the employee has their coin and can tell the leadership team member what the five steps mean, in their own words, that employee is given a small reward. If they do not have their coin, the team has developed a touch point to assist them.
Safety is personal and the objective behind this campaign is that, the coins will help drive a basic change in individual behaviors. To ensure safe behavior among all employees, it is important for the team to have good communication and to believe that all accidents are preventable. The overall goal of the program is to drive a better work environment and help keep all employees safe at work and at home.
The Fernley plant was also recognized after the VPP Audit for their “Best Practice.” Auditors were given coins and went around the plant and performed the “coin check.” The employees were able to describe the program to the auditors. Everyone at the plant was on board with the program and it will be included in Fernley’s 100 Days of Summer Safety program as well.