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Leading The Way to Behavior-Based Safety

By Gail Snyder

When Terry Nay joined Arizona’s Tucson Electric Power (TEP) several years ago as its corporate safety director, he already knew from firsthand experience how a behavior-based safety (BBS) process could be made to fail through improper implementation. So when several safety representatives at TEP expressed an interest in BBS, he not only knew what to do, but what not to do.

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S.T.A.T.: Safety Today Avoids Tragedy

In 1998, the Thunder Creek Gas Services, LLC Company was established with just over a handful of employees as a joint venture to build a gathering and transportation system for natural gas in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Since that time, the enterprise has grown into a successful organization of currently almost 40 employees with locations in Gillette and Douglas, Wyoming, and Denver, Colorado.

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Embraco Employees Control Keys to Safety

Sometimes, a very safe workplace can hold hidden dangers. That’s what became apparent at the Embraco North America (ENA) facility in Suwanee, Georgia. In operation since 1991, this sales, R&D, and distribution center for Embraco—a world leader in the manufacture of refrigeration compressors— enjoyed a perfect safety record until an unusual, but preventable event occurred.

“Many years ago a forklift operator drove off of a loading dock while unloading trucks. As the truck was pulling away from the dock, the forklift operator, who had been unloading the truck, did not feel the truck leaving the dock because he was also moving. He was driving back to the dock but the truck had already pulled away, so he fell between the truck and the dock,” explains Terrence Burks, warehouse supervisor. Fortunately, the forklift operator survived, but suffered serious injury.

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When Developing Safety Action Plans, Don't Forget Behaviors!

Incidents can happen even in safe workplaces, because human behavior is unpredictable. That was certainly the case when a warehouse employee of the Suwanee, Georgia, location of Embraco North America (ENA), a sales, R&D, and distribution center for Embraco—a world leader in the manufacture of refrigeration compressors—was unlucky enough to be involved in a frightening situation. “We had an employee who was wrapping a pallet.

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