Time may be money, but life is priceless; our mission for safety runs through every vein of Keller Logistics Group. From the freight broker in Ohio, to the third-shift forklift driver in Colorado, all the way to the truck driver in West Virginia - Keller stresses the importance of safety in our everyday functions. Because Keller consists of several remote entities, our Safety crew cannot be everywhere at once and we rely on all employees to promote and sustain a safety culture.
Having plenty of internal communication on safety processes increases everyone’s awareness of safety topics. The accumulation of this knowledge empowers employees to be successful and more safety conscious. A great example is the addition of Safety Crosses in Keller Warehouses to keep everyone up to date on near misses, days without any incidents, and time lost due to accidents.
Building Keller’s culture of safety begins with employee training. Training on safety matters doesn’t start and end with new employees though; we are all continuous students of safety. In addition to the traditional training topics, Keller stresses the importance of training based on experiences. Root Cause Analysis plays a large role in our corrective action process and helps us get to the real causes of accidents rather than jump to obvious assumptions. We use accidents and near misses as opportunities to review and revise existing safety policies or develop new policies to help prevent future accidents. Drive cams have been implemented in trucks for this reason. Proactivity identifies issues before they become costly problems and cause injuries. Safety related posters all throughout the company help keep safety issues top of mind, and encourage employees to think about what can be done to maintain a safe work environment. Safety leaders should be ahead of the curve by identifying and resolving possible issues before they get out of hand and become more serious problems.
Safety “policies,” however, are only words on paper without employee dedication behind them. We began a Behavior Based Safety course at our Keller Packaging facility in Napoleon, Ohio at the beginning of 2017 and have already seen positive outcomes. The goal of this course is to not just correct employees’ unsafe actions but to coach them through unsafe behaviors, recognize safe behaviors and because of these coaching’s, create a safety partnership between supervisors and their employees. This safety partnership means a stronger culture of safety for all. The things leaders value typically get done. It is vital to the success of the initiative for leadership to show their commitment to safety through their actions. A great example is the bright safety vests all employees wear when walking through the parking lot between the Keller corporate and operations offices, ensuring visibility to truck drivers.
Every day we are a little closer to making this philosophy a reality. By completing on site safety audits of our warehouses for example, we can make sure everyone is adhering to the safety expectations, while gaining valuable feedback about future safety tactics to implement. Some days yield more progress than others and some days are just learning experiences for all. However, at the end of every day, our goal is always the same: to encourage an environment that promotes a sense of safety for all.