(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Polaroid Corporation - Waltham, MA
Polaroid's Safety Values process works as a behavioral intervention program which reinforces the idea that health, safety, and well-being are every employee's personal responsibility. Begun in the early 1990s, the Safety Values process offered Polaroid a way to positively influence its employees' behavior by focusing on the motivations of an individual's action. The process' purpose was to reduce quantity and severity of personal injuries, as well as the associated pain and suffering.
Using the Total Quality of Life Model (Figure 3-6) as a starting point, the Safety Values process teaches employees to recognize and comprehend their behavioral motivation, identify the consequences from their actions, and take personal responsibility for their behavior. In addition, Polaroid uses a four-hour Safety Values Process Workshop as a first step to help its employees see their personal well being as an interrelated set of beliefs and values; behaviors; and consequences which extend beyond the workplace (Figure 3-7). The workshop seeks to drive these beliefs and behaviors in the "safe" direction, and focuses on situations that threaten the quality of life and the ability to perform. As a companion to the workshop, a course book furnishes specific, personalized, thought-provoking facts, models, and exercises which encourage employees to modify their behavior through understanding, willingness, and commitment. In addition, the course book provides a straightforward, logical progression through complicated concepts that are expressed in simple, amusing, and user-friendly examples.
After completing the workshop, groups of volunteers establish safety values teams to examine those behaviors requiring change or improvement. The group determines how the behaviors should be altered, gets support from other team members, and periodically measures and demonstrates the success rate of the team's new behavior. Safety values team members receive specific, additional training (e.g., conflict resolution, risk assessment, incident investigative techniques) as issues arise.
Polaroid's Safety Values process uses a forward-thinking approach which goes beyond the traditional guidelines, instructions, and handbooks. Instead, the process strives to understand and alter the behavioral causes of accidents and injuries; uses a continuous improvement technique; addresses each employee's well being holistically; and achieves significant practical safety improvements. Currently, 900 employees have completed the Safety Values training. As a result, Polaroid has reduced its accident rate by 50%.