EHS Today recently hosted a webinar focusing on the hallmarks of successful environmental health and safety programs on a global scale: Insights from a 5-Year Journey in Global EHS Transformation: Employee Engagement, Safety Leadership, and Synergy across Data and Processes.
Speakers Perry Hawkins, who is head of safety and risk management at CIRCOR International Inc., and Tina Duffy with ProcessMAP Corporation, focused on employee engagement, as well as a series of other factors to explain their unique perspectives on environmental, health and safety (EHS) management.
CIRCOR manufactures flow and motion control products like valves for heavy industries such as oil and gas companies, the military, and other severe-service applications. ProcessMAP provides EHS software and analytics tools.
Perry Hawkins led the hour-long discussion, which delved into the decisions made during an EHS overhaul at CIRCOR beginning in 2013/2014, for which he was responsible. “From 2012 to 2016 we had about a 90 percent reduction in injuries…When I came to CIRCOR back in 2013, recognizing that this was an organization that has a lot of moving parts, from a technology standpoint, valve manufacturing is old technology,” Hawkins explained. “Modernization was a key part of our journey, but unfortunately, [with] the systems we had in place at that time, we started to see a high frequency of injuries.”
Hawkins cited a lack of employee engagement and the fact that injury tracking was unsophisticated and went somewhat unanalyzed led to a reactive safety culture. “Without an effective management system, and with only an EHS policy, you just can’t drive [outcomes] the way that you want to, and I think that’s a challenge that many companies today face,” Hawkins said. He noted further that it’s better to be driven not just by compliance with regulatory standards for industry, but also by the desire to create a superior EHS system.
The roadmap that Hawkins developed at CIRCOR had six key points:
- New Vision for the EH&S Program
- Investment in EH&S Improvements
- Development and Implementation of the CIRCOR EHSMS: policy and procedures and case management
- Focus on Employee Engagement: EH&S surveys, behavior-based safety, safety milestones and awards and recognition for safety
- EHS Talent Acquisition
- Implementation of a Robust EH&S Data Management and Intelligence System
In particular, Hawkins said that CIRCOR’s significant decrease in the rate of injury had a lot to do with case management and listening to workers. “The voice of the customer is essential to the success of an organization,” he said. “But the primary customers that drives me on a day-to-day basis are those employees out on the shop floor. My mantra was, ‘the person who knows best what the issues are in the workplace is the person who’s turning the wrench.’”
As the five years progressed, the key to the sought after proactive safety culture, according to Hawkins, was “assessment, prevention and control network,” or APC. While the method can look different for different organizations, APC centers around things like job safety analysis, ergonomics, machine guarding assessments, and functional capacity evaluations. For CIRCOR, Hawkins emphasized the company’s post-incident procedures as well. Every significant incident – which they defined as an OSHA recordable, lost-time injury, or significant near-hit – is followed by a one-on-one executive review with the plant manager.
By 2016, the results were impressive. CIRCOR experienced the aforementioned 90 percent reduction in injuries globally. In 2017/2018, the company completed two major acquisitions and doubled in size, resulting in a slight uptick in injuries, but through June of 2019, CIRCOR had only 9 injuries, versus 109 with half of the employees they currently have in 2012.
Tina Duffy with ProcessMAP covered the remainder of the webinar, during which she explained how CIRCOR’s transformation benefited from the use of her company’s “enterprise-wide EHS software.”
Perry Hawkins is Corporate Director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management at CIRCOR International Inc. Tina Duffy is Vice-President of Product Management at ProcessMAP Corporation.
The webinar is available on demand here and was sponsored by ProcessMAP.
Image Credit: CIRCOR