UPS, the world’s largest package carrier, has slashed its workplace injury rate by 40% and reduced auto accidents by 33% through its Comprehensive Health and Safety Process (CHSP).
Although few companies are as large as UPS, businesses of any size can apply these CHSP principles.
The backbone of the program is the nearly 4,000 safety committees at UPS facilities around the world. A non-management employee usually leads the committee, supported by a management co-chair. These groups are responsible for finding and fixing problems. They have full power to take action, which sets them apart from traditional safety committees led by managers who often simply tell their workers to quit getting hurt. CHSP expects employees to make the changes that will keep them from getting hurt. Each committee also develops a 15-month action plan to tackle long-term safety goals.
Every day at every UPS operation, drivers gather for a three-minute communication that might address a new service or other key information they need. These mini-meetings always include a “safety share” or tip on such topics as railroad crossing risks, distracted driving, or safe lifting. Although the tip is brief, the consistency of practices underscores management’s commitment to keeping workers safe.
Five years ago, UPS introduced an innovative practice by creating “safety zones,” physically delineated areas in each facility where drivers and other workers gather. The zones might include computers for online research, information boards, and space for holding safety presentations. Some locations have even introduced light workout equipment. Carving out a dedicated space devoted to safety helps underscore its importance and makes the commitment more visible. These zones are inexpensive to create and are clearly proving their value.
UPS believes in promotion from the ranks. The company, known for employee longevity, encourages employees to grow in safety as they grow in their jobs. It’s common for a part-time loader to become a driver, then a supervisor, and then a manager, with safety responsibilities added along the way. Encouraging long-term employees to take on safety duties helps create buy-in and strengthens the safety organization.
Take a leaf from the UPS safety book!