While safety has always been a priority at Smithers-Oasis, creating a shared message across operating units was a challenge. The Corporate Technology team spent most of 2010 and 2011 visiting every location around the world, sitting with Managing Directors and Operations Managers to study their local safety programs. They realized that every unit had a “best practice” that would benefit the organization and most units, despite local regulation variances, were enacting similar safety strategies.
Ultimately, the team identified three primary goals. First, we had to continue to emphasize our commitment to keeping our people safe. Second, we had to raise the level of awareness of safety. And third, we needed an overriding message that was consistent globally and aspirational. We needed to outline the basics that our operating units needed to pay attention to as part of their safety programs but do it in a way that was memorable and easy to communicate.
Working with the Regulatory team, the Corporate Technology team created the W.O.R.K. S.A.F.E.L.Y. program. The program consisted of the ten overarching tenets that built on the acronym WORK SAFELY. These tenets were listed in collateral materials that were distributed and displayed in all the operating units. Each of the ten headlines was supported by expanded instructions and best practices – drawing from their initial global survey of the business units. The materials were translated into local languages, key personnel around the world participated in “train the trainer” sessions, and then all Managing Directors, Operations Managers and employees completed the new safety training program.
Since its launch, the program has been refined and updated as regulations and technologies evolve. New benchmarks, such as measuring “near misses,” have been instituted, so that we are catching issues before they become serious safety problems and
can immediately implement corrective actions and train employees. The W.O.R.K. S.A.F.E.L.Y. program remains the foundation of Smithers-Oasis’ safety program, as it sets forth our global priorities yet allows local units to customize the program to include any additional local regulations.