Investing in Our Future
Around the globe, safety remains a top priority
Launched in 2014 at CommScope’s facilities in The Americas (Reynosa, Mexico, and Euless, TX), the Safety Starts with Me initiative is receiving support from senior management to help CommScope employees foster a culture where safety is an everyday proactive priority. Behavior change is the driving force behind the campaign. It stresses a deliberate, procedure-based approach to workplace activities.
At the heart of the initiative are 10 model behaviors designed to minimize workplace accidents:
- Decision making: Health and safety FIRST. Make smart decisions to avoid hazardous situations.
- Reporting: Use our online safety reporting tool to report incidents, hazards and near misses immediately.
- Training: Engage only in activities you are fully trained to perform.
- Usage: Use equipment properly. Never tamper with safety devices.
- Organization: Maintain clear, organized work areas, pathways, and emergency exits.
- Technique: Lift correctly to protect your back. Avoid unsafe shortcuts.
- Protection: Use the right personal protective equipment (PPE). Obey safety rules and signs.
- Focus: Avoid distractions. Respect your coworkers and your workplace.
- Advocacy: Actively promote workplace safety and wellness. Everyone wins.
- Health: Avoid substances that impair your ability to safely perform your work.
The driving principles behind the initiative are teamwork, safety, health and productivity. In a practical way, this means empowering our people to take personal ownership of their safety, intervening to correct the at-risk behaviors of others, and reporting hazards and near misses.
Why launch an internal safety campaign?
“Our research indicated that 90 percent of workplace safety-related incidents take place because of at-risk behavior,” explained Ciaran Doyle, director, Global Environment, Health and Safety. “Because of that, Safety Starts with Me enables team members to take personal ownership of their safety to avoid engaging in dangerous activities.”
Ciaran acknowledges that, in a manufacturing culture, production pressures at times conflict with procedural steps. In an effort to complete tasks on time, employees sometimes skip safety measures that are viewed as repetitive or time consuming. Safety Starts with Me is changing that perspective.
René Santana, facilities manager in Reynosa, sees the new global safety initiative as a vehicle for changing behavior. “It is really comforting to see more employees reporting incidents and near misses based on the confidence they have gained from the program. They feel they are part of an important change. We’re empowering that change. The leadership team is also more aware and can provide much-needed support.”
Tracy Kastner, EHS manager at the Euless facility, said the plant’s employees are in constant contact with the material flow at all phases of production. “We do a lot of forming and cutting operations using saws, torches and plasma cutters. It’s all manual setup here with hand positioning.”
Kastner said most of the plant’s few accidents had resulted from a failure to use personal protective equipment (PPE), a situation that has changed. “There are no pressures here to cut corners, but it’s human nature to try and find faster ways to do things. Going through all the steps can get tedious. But we require them to do these extra things. It’s part of their job—but, more importantly, their safety.”
Safety Starts with Me is being rolled out globally in all CommScope facilities in 2015. Roger Qin, EHS manager in China, said. “This is a great way to enhance safety awareness among our employees and let them know safety is a priority. It helps reduce the number of incidents and improves the overall safety of our team."