CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) is an industry leader in marine environmental consulting with safety at the forefront. With its diverse market sectors including Energy, Government, Ports and Coastal, and Infrastructure, the relentless pursuit of safety programs and initiatives drives its business model and permeates all aspects of its operations. Committed to employee engagement in its robust Safety Culture, CSA participated in Safe + Sound Week—an OSHA initiative—August 12th through 18th. This nationwide event is held each August and recognizes the successes of workplace safety and health programs. Approximately 2,400 companies participated across the U.S.
CSA’s participation in the event was initiated, supported, and promoted by Upper Management—a vital component of an effective safety initiative. Management requested that employees share a message and photo in the main conference room as to why safety is important to them. In other words, what area of their life would be adversely impacted if they were to sustain an injury, disability, or worse. Far too frequently, companies focus their attention solely on injury statistics, Workman’s Compensation claims, lost productivity, fines, citations, etc., yet fails to address the human impacts outside of the workplace. CSA refers to this broader view as Value-Based Safety. For safety programs to be effective and sustainable, there must be a paradigm shift from traditional rules, policies, and procedure-based systems to a value-based system. Motivating safe behaviors through punitive measures or quoting policies and procedures as a means of compliance is marginally effective, and only in the short-term. Conversely, intrinsically motivated safety—behaviors based on values—have long-term and lasting benefits. While policies and procedures must be followed, the motivation to do so should be through our values.
Safe + Sound Week occurs during the peak of offshore and field operations at CSA. It is during these peak times where stress, fatigue, and complacency may impact safe operations. The simple act of refocusing on safety for a week serves to revitalize CSA’s commitment to the safety of its personnel and subcontractors—a safety timeout if you will. Safe + Sound Week encourages employees to reflect on what is valuable to them. Furthermore, learning about what their colleague's value drives home the message that everyone has a reason to make it home safely, and that no task, project, or operation should deprive someone of that. Safety is about teamwork. Knowing what is important to others is as important as what we value for ourselves. The overwhelming response was quality time with family. CSA works diligently to ensure that our people maintain that quality of life by ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.
“Safety initiatives or promotions always have the potential to backfire or fail to make a meaningful impact. It was pleasing to see the conference room fill up with photos and messages about what our employees treasured in life, and why they valued safety. Some wrote a phrase or sentence, while others wrote paragraphs. Passing by the conference room and seeing employees reading messages, smiling at photos of families, pets, etc. was rewarding. Furthermore, I was delighted to see my inbox flood with participation from our regional and international offices as well as our subsidiaries,” said Eirik Kydland, HSSE Director for CSA.
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