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May 20, 2022
It is difficult in an industry so heavily reliant (and comfortable) on negative lagging indicators to shift the focus of leadership and employees to more valid metrics. At JTM, the company works hard to label the OSHA and Labor & Industries lagging injury metrics the “business” of safety. JTM has improved heavily on its ability to case manage and make itself competitive in its industry, but the “business” of safety has very little to do with the organization’s (and its trade partners’) safety, health and wellbeing.
JTM has focused its attention to the “experience” of safety to metrics like safe workdays; building on success as opposed to failures; successfully identifying issues that could lead to injury; and successfully completing training.
Safe workdays are a celebration of all days where JTM completed all tasks successfully without incident. This is the inverse of the old “days safe” sign that resets every time someone gets injured. Safe workdays do not reset on a project or at JTM as a whole. They are earned, and build, reflecting the successes of JTM team members. If JTM does not have a safe workday, it has a day for learning and opportunity. This may result in a “learning team” activity, or simply an analysis of how JTM ended up with a negative outcome. At JTM projects, the company has started to display safe workdays at gathering areas and communicate it weekly in toolbox talks. In 2021, JTM had 298 safe workdays.
Hazard recognition and near miss reporting and analysis at JTM has been an evolving process. Each observation is seen as an opportunity to eliminate a potential injury and is celebrated as such. In 2021, JTM recognized these observations as important and has since been working on programs to better track, trend, and learn from them. When JTM has an observation that is significant, it is communicated to all JTM employees in an “It happened to us” document, one which details the observation or event, and discusses the corrective action or change in process.
JTM’s safety training program took off in 2021. After identifying the need for better engagement (in the 2021 Safety Action Plan), JTM turned the completion of training into a competition, and celebrated those who consistently completed their training, as well as those teams who helped each other be successful. Each month consisted of a theme, and beyond the training, other talking points and materials were available. At the end of the year, JTM crowned its first Safety Training Champion Project 100 & Main in Bellevue.