The human dimension
In order to develop a safety culture, which is shared by all staff, the Arkema group uses different methods: the safety in action program, the essentials, shared observations and mini-audits.
Performance improvement in terms of safety is closely related to the creation of a common culture in this area.
To develop this common safety culture, the Arkema group relies on various tools:
- the "essentials", safety rules known by all, that cannot be compromised
- field activities, such as peer observations, mini-audits, scheduled plant inspections, safety rounds, field audits
- the safety in action program, for wide communication on the safety challenges.
The Essentials – 14 must-do rules
The 14 essentials are simple and clear safety rules related to daily situations and based on prior feedback. All personnel must apply these rules in exemplary fashion - with no exception whatsoever - on all the sites of the Arkema group.
Staff members are invited to make any suggestions to improve the implementation of a rule or to point out any problem situation. In the event of observed non-compliance, any staff member has the right to intervene in any other staff member’s actions, irrespective of the person’s position.
The essentials program takes place three times a year. Each time a campaign and specific actions are organized over a three month period in order to help each staff member to fully understand and adopt the safety rules.
Shared observations – developing an awareness of risk
The principle of shared observations of behavior as related to risk situations aims to increase awareness of risk in order to reduce the number of work-related accidents. It is based on prior positive experiences and jointly looking for solutions to improve safety practices.
The shared observation approach is based on a structured methodology which each site applies according to its specific characteristics, i.e. the type of risk and nature of the site’s activity. Staff members of an identical hierarchical level then observe each other during the performance of their tasks. Thanks to this method, it is possible to identify good practices and non-compliance as well as risk situations.
Successfully tested in the US and in some European countries, the shared observation approach is progressively being deployed throughout the world.
In 2015, 57% of sites (including Bostik sites acquired in early 2015) had put in place the peer observation program to improve safety, versus 77% in 2014 and 62% in 2013. Excluding Bostik sites, the percentage would be 85% in 2015, an increase on the 2014 figure.
The 2025 target is to extend the program to 100% of Group sites.
"SafeStart", the self-observation program
To move on from a safety discipline culture to a safety commitment culture, ARKEMA has taken up the development of an initiative in place in the United States that was first devised in Canada. Called “SafeStart®”, this initiative consists in observation of self and of other people, to identify critical states (rushing, frustration, fatigue and complacency) that can lead to critical errors (eyes not on task, line of fire, mind not on task, balance, traction or grip) transforming minor risks into major risks. Critical error reduction techniques are used to continuously improve accident prevention.
Mini-audits for speedy data collection
A mini-audit is short (generally 20 to 30 minutes) and is a new method designed to speed up safety-related data collection. It is used to examine specific issues: compliance review for Essentials rules, evaluation of a situation specific to a production unit, implementation review of a priority Group action, etc.
This method is still being developed and has proven to be successful on the sites where it was tested.
Safety in Action – an unceasing commitment
Safety in Action is an ambitious program focused on information and mobilization in order to train and support personnel in the behavioral changes the Arkema group has targeted. This program aims to create unceasing vigilance in the area of safety. It highlights the individual and group commitment to act at the level of each team and workstation.
This program is based in particular on two targeted areas related to sharing information and communication:
- safety welcome films - to systematically provide information to all visitors about safety procedures that must be followed on each site.
- organization of safety discussions and the essentials - to periodically discuss safety-related topics. These discussions result in the definition of action plans and improvement plans at a production team level.