A proactive approach to safety observations matters. There is a demand for accountability in food and beverage manufacturing and supply chain industries. EHS professionals can experience significant challenges trying to motivate all internal functions to follow new processes. Employee buy-in and empowerment is a critical layer in the success of an effective safety observation program. This is where observation application software and tools can help hold employees accountable, take ownership, and adapt their behavior to eliminate incidents.
Food and beverage ingredient supplier and Gensuite subscriber, Tate & Lyle, recently documented how Gensuite Safety Observation software not only decreased their safety concerns but created a culture of safety within their organization. EHS Manager Bobby Campbell experienced challenges trying to help employees understand that conducting behavioral audits, and reporting safety concerns, serves purposes beyond just tracking and reporting. When behaviors are tracked, behaviors can be addressed, and employees have a better awareness of how their actions can affect the entire organization. He noted, “It gets everyone at the site involved in not only thinking about safety daily, but also about what the employees around them are doing. It helps get employees at all levels engaged in corrective behaviors.”
How to Build Effective Safety Observation Program for Food and Beverage Manufacturers
- Gain Management Commitment – If management is not onboard, processes, programs and software will not help your success. Help your manager understand that not only does their success rely on preventing safety issues, but the success of HR, risk management and compliance.
- Set Expectations – Imbed it in the Process – Once employees know to expect a safety check daily, it will become the new norm and eventually become muscle memory.
- Track Relevant Data – Gather relevant data with easy, mobile applications. Meet with HR, Compliance, Legal, and all others affected by safety incidents and know what to track so you can prevent risk.
- Report and Share – Sharing results, allows employees to see the reason behind the checks, increases awareness and ownership, and reduce corrective actions.
- Implement Changes – Review your results monthly or quarterly and make changes to your program as needed.
By observing and reporting on a continual basis, Tate & Lyle has seen a significant decrease in risk-related observations. With increasing regulations in food and beverage manufacturing and supply chain industries, the success of organizations depends on a solid safety observation program. Shifting the ways that employees think about safety can reduce the number of incidents and level of risk an organization experiences. “I have used this system before in a previous job, and when pushed out in a positive light it can get everyone at the site involved,” says Bobby Campbell. We look forward to hearing and sharing more success stories like this from Tate & Lyle.