(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Polaroid Corporation - Waltham, MA
In 1994, Polaroid began implementing an Activity-Based Risk Management Performance system to improve the safety record of its Components Division plants. To recognize, encourage, and reward employee participation, the system used safety metrics which focused on the positive aspects of injury prevention. The positive metrics also helped in identifying and correcting underlying factors that could lead to injuries.
Polaroid solicited 50 high risk situations (HRSs) from its five Components Division plants. These solicited targets represented chronic-type issues that had a high potential for serious injury and could not easily be resolved. For each target, Polaroid developed a risk matrix which plotted the likelihood of an incident versus the degree of consequence. Safety professionals then reviewed the risk matrices pertaining to their division.
In December 1996, Polaroid exceeded its two-year success
criteria goal of 65 targets by reducing the risk of 73 targets (Figure 2-2). The goal for 1997 is to reduce the risk of 25 targets (out of 50 identified). As of March, Polaroid reduced the risk of two targets. One situation involved refinishing a warehouse floor so forklift operators could drive on a smoother surface. The original surface contained several cracks that had the potential of snagging equipment, tipping over forklifts, and severely injuring operators. As a serious/critical risk, this situation provided a one-in-a-hundred (quite possible) likelihood of an incident occurring. By resurfacing the floor with an epoxy finish, Polaroid protected its building in the event of a hazardous waste spill, provided a non-cracked surface for its forklift operators, and reduced the situation to a minor/marginal risk with only a one-in-a-million likelihood of an incident occurring. The second situation involved the potential for fire, vapor exposure, and back injury to an operator when centrifuging a chemical compound. Assessed as a potential serious risk, the situation had an incident potential of occurring once every five years. By moving the chemical compound preparation to a pressure nutsche, Polaroid reduced the situation to a minor risk with an incident potential of occurring once during the plant's lifespan. In addition, exposure, drum handling, and flammable vapors in the plant were minimized.
Monthly tracking of the risk reduction metrics began
in June 1994 and continues as an ongoing process. Polaroid revises its target
list annually to ensure the top 50 HRSs are represented. The success rate of
the project has exceeded original expectations, and may be attributed to the
positive focus of the safety metrics and the involvement of the Components
Division's managers. Figure 2-2