In summer 2014, Building Custodial and Support Services formed a safety committee representing all levels and zones to design a customized behavior based safety program to keep the custodians safe at work. The universal goal of the program is to eliminate unsafe acts or at-risk behavior from employees. Observations help achieve that goal because they focus on safe behavior to prevent the future occurrence of more serious incidents that would have been caused by unsafe behaviors. The safety committee looked at past incidents and researched at-risk behavior for the custodians and developed checklists for ladder usage, lifting and vacuuming. The goal is to fill out one checklist of your choice per week. Any comments or concerns are exempt from any discipline to create a trusting environment that makes safety a priority.
The safety committee prepared and trained over 160 custodians and supervisors on the basics of behavior based safety, the program’s cycle, safe vacuuming and safe lifting techniques in cooperation with the Sports Medicine Clinic. The feedback shows that the interactive training approach delivered by the committed is hitting the nerve: 85 percent approval rating and positive feedback confirms that training is relevant and addresses concerns at work.
“The behavior based process has had a positive impact on our safety culture and you hear about everyone being more aware and coming forward with concerns. It’s beautiful to see everyone coming together to make a change,” says Steve Gilsdorf, Director of Building Custodial and Support Services. The safety committee is strongly supported by management, which takes an active role in supporting the safety ambassadors. The safety ambassadors meet bi-weekly to review the data and discuss the concerns brought up to provide solutions. This follow-up ensures continuous improvement and further develops the behavior based safety process to the current needs.