One of Australia’s leading suppliers of off-the-road (OTR) solutions, Bridgestone Mining Solutions Australia (BMSA), has improved its safety performance in recent years. This has resulted in a reduction in lagging safety frequency rates and an increase in reporting levels of hazards and near-misses.
BMSA has recently embarked on a behavioural safety initiative and reviewed their Fatal Risk Management (FRM) within their primary business operations. This approach is already proving to be an effective way of focussing on the key factors that are most critical to Bridgestone’s business.
Management of BMSA’s Fatal Risk controls requires:
- Clarity on which controls really matter
- An understanding of what these controls do to prevent unwanted events from occurring
- Decisions on which checks are needed to ensure controls are implemented and working optimally
- Accountability for the implementation and consistent use of controls
- Reporting on the performance of the identified controls.
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The first part of the FRM program includes some self-checks that are completed by everyone before starting for the day or commencing a new task (commonly known in the industry as a ‘Take 5’ or similar).
BMSA has aligned this initiative with Bridgestone’s ‘Essence’ (the company’s global corporate philosophy) and calls them Personal Genba Checks. Genba is a Japanese term for ‘actual place’ – hence this approach promotes decision-making based on verified observations, rather than gut-feel or averaged analytics.
The second part of the checking is based around Kaizen – the Japanese word for ‘improvement’. It’s a concept referring to business activities that continuously improve all functions and involves all staff, from the CEO to assembly line workers.
This combined approach encourages BSMA personnel to think about the safety risks and potential injuries that can occur, and also what they can do about it. This is all part of identifying BMSA’s Fatal Risks as well as familiarising all stakeholders of all levels with the company’s existing controls, in the places that really matter.
Online safety system improvements
Part of developing effective compliance systems, particularly as BMSA’s solutions business is growing across multiple customer sites, is not only having a robust system, but one that provides ease of use in the field for frontline staff members.
The company is using an online reporting system that can be scaled with business growth and configured to match current workflows across multiple locations. Paper-based systems can no longer keep up with the volume of work and accuracy requirements of reporting, eliminating risks, and dealing with complex information forms.
Since bringing this system on line and optimising for mobile device usage, BMSA’s compliance, quality of reporting and frequency of reporting has grown significantly. Indeed, within three months of using mobile technology their Hazard reporting increased by 300%.
Start with the end in mind – National Tyre Fitting Training
Bridgestone Mining Solutions Australia also recently implemented a National Tyre Fitting Training program. This allows potential new employees (particularly those who haven’t had prior training or work experience in OTR tyre fitting) to learn a new skillset in tyre fitting for heavy industry and the mining sector.
BMSA is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) which provides training and assessments against an Australian Quality Framework (AQF) while incorporating Bridgestone’s procedures and processes across all aspects of tyre fitting.
This program provides participants with the skills and knowledge to perform the role of a tyre fitter in a way that is safe for them and their co-workers. Course content contains theory that is then practically applied in a controlled work environment. Those taking the course learn to recognise hazards and adequately control them by understanding best safety practices and how to implement them.
Participants engage in the fundamentals of risk management, specifically around fatal risk management, by completing risk assessments and pre-start vehicle inspections. Working together in teams enhances their involvement in the process to strengthen skills and improve compliance and performance.
Furthermore, this program protects workers from injury and illness by increasing quality, reinforcing positive safety behaviours and enhancing BMSA’s overall safety culture.
All of this activity and commitment to further improving the safety culture within BMSA, means that all their existing employees are fully aware of the latest safety protocols and best practice approaches. It also ensures that new employees to the industry start with a strong level of understanding of how to best manage fatal risks in their daily business operations.