Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Rockwell Collins’ Coaching and Safety Structure
Rockwell Collins’ Coralville facility has established an ergonomics, employee-coaching, and overall safety structure that have decreased company costs due to worker injuries. As a result of a lower company employee injury rate, the Rockwell Collins Coralville facility will realize a bottom-line cost savings, increased productivity, and probable insurance rate reductions.
In the early 1990s, Rockwell Collins’ Coralville facility recorded a safety metric of 9.7 accident cases per 100 employees. During that time, when this safety metric was more likely to rise than fall, the Coralville Safety Committee decided to take action. The Safety Committee established a new Coralville safety structure comprised of three groups – the Coralville Safety Council, the Integrated Product Team (IPT) Safety Committee, and the Go-To Team. The Safety Council was the platform that addressed key safety and health issues and provided safety recommendations to Coralville management. The IPT Safety Committee was the governing body for the department implementing safety and health policy. The Go-To Teams were responsible for conducting audits, receiving employee observations, and implementing ergonomic intervention.
To further improve its safety and health policies, Rockwell Collins adopted a lean manufacturing and new safety behavioral philosophy and applied these tools to its safety and health problems. The company also began to train its employees on safe work practices. In September 2005 the company used the new tool of value stream mapping (VSM) to better understand its manufacturing processes and established a VSM team comprised of functional members of the safety structure that included both management and union leadership. Using VSM and safety initiatives, the team eliminated areas of waste and identified system issues and areas for improvement that included clearly defined responsibilities for each level of the structure, rapid resolution of safety issues, and management support to resolve any problems related to safety structure.
To address the timely correction of workplace hazards, Coralville personnel established a safety structure that defined a pairing of Rockwell Coralville personnel and union leadership team members. The new arrangement paired the plant manager with the union president, the Human Resources/Environmental, Safety & Health engineer with the union vice president, the department navigator with the lead steward, and the plant facilitator with the union steward. The new policy also addressed the issue of preventing program requirements from becoming the responsibility of one employee. New problems would be addressed at the time of their occurrence.
To provide management a means for measuring the adequacy of the company’s safety performance, the revised structure established management metrics to validate management safety issues. A safety assessment score identifies areas for improvement and areas of success. Safety action items are placed in an improvement plan with defined tasks that are to be completed each month. The action items from the plan are reviewed monthly and a rescore of assessments occurs quarterly. When the plan is completed, management is tasked to reassess the facility’s safety performance.
The revised structure implemented a safety scorecard that is linked to the Coralville Safety Business Plan and Assessment process. The scorecard measures 10 areas fundamental to program success. The assessment criteria continually improve as performance increases. The IPT and union partner use a scoring approach (Figure 2-11) to measure and record overall facility metrics on a scorecard (Figures 2-12).
The Coralville Safety Committee also established a hazard corrective system that manages ergonomic intervention, hazard corrections, audit findings, near misses, and corrective actions. The Hazard Corrective System identifies the responsible party for initiating as the owner of a hazard correction or ergonomic intervention. The system allows three days to address the hazard issue. The system will track the issue until its corrected. Management is issued a weekly report that identifies the issues status as either No response or Open, and 3- and 6-month followup in concert with the Safety Committee’s Corrective Action Process (Figure 2-13).
The Coralville Safety Committee established a safety coaching process and a means for ergonomic interventions. The coaching process allows employees to coach others on safe work practices, offer suggestions, and identify at- risk behaviors. All employees are to be coached quarterly. The ergonomic intervention process allows employees to report problem systems. When problems are reported, the Go-To Team conducts an ergonomic intervention that includes an on-site evaluation by an ergonomics specialist or an ergonomics team, with resolution followup at 3- and 6-month intervals.
The Coralville Safety Committee implemented a health case-management system that provides on-site heath services, biweekly case management meetings, health-problem treatment plans, and a company-provided physician on-site. To sustain facility compliance and health and safety awareness, the company provides a 2-year training plan that complies with company policies and training required by regulation.
The benefits of this extensive employee heath and safety plan are a facility that is compliant with state and federal regulations and cost avoidance through injury prevention. Rockwell Collins management knows that a lower injury rate with fewer injuries will result in bottom-line cost savings, productivity increases, and probable insurance rate reductions. These potential cost savings are evidenced by a decrease in incident and injury rates per 100 employees, a 54% reduction in workers’ compensation claims, and a 74% reduction in workers’ compensation dollars.
Figure 2-11. Scoring
Figure 2-12. Area Scorecard
Figure 2-13. Corrective Action Process
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