USA - 2013
Supervisor Safety Training Reduces Frequency, Severity of Injuries
Back-to-basics safety training for supervisors in Alcoa’s U.S. smelters and refineries resulted in an 83% reduction in lost workdays, 50% decrease in restricted work incidents, and a significant decline in the severity of injuries that did occur.
While the nine facilities had pockets of safety excellence, as a whole they were not improving fast enough to meet expectations. In 2011, there were six lost workday incidents and 94 restricted work incidents in the plants. The combined total recordable incident rate (TRIR) was 3.18, and the days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) rate stood at 2.25. In comparison, Alcoa facilities globally had an average TRIR of 1.34 and DART rate of 0.78.
An analysis of the safety program revealed that there were significant inconsistencies in the approach to safety at the supervisory level, specifically with interactions between supervisors and their crews. To address the situation, the facilities implemented a supervisor training and assessment program to ensure supervisor consistency and effectiveness in addressing safety during pre-shift (toolbox) meetings and pre-job briefings. The training also boosted the supervisors’ skills in coaching employees on when to stop working and seek help if they were unsure of how to perform a task safely.
The training was delivered in 2012 through classes and more than 2,500 one-on-one coaching sessions and assessments that were used to monitor and measure each supervisor’s performance. By year’s end, all supervisors had achieved or exceeded the assessment’s baseline competency score of 15 out of 20.
As a result of these efforts, the nine U.S. facilities reduced their lost workday incidents to one and the number of restricted cases to 38 in 2012. The DART rate, which is a measure of the severity of injuries, improved by 50%.
“The training provided me with more effective skills at helping my employees understand the hazards in the workplace, and it also gave me the tools to help identify those hazards,” said Jon Briscoe, first line supervisor in the potroom at Alcoa’s Intalco Works smelter in Washington. “I’ve seen a better awareness among my team of the hazards that we encounter each day, and that’s also helping bring awareness to the other crews they interact with on a daily basis.”