Safety first wins Chairman’s gold
Collaboration, the sharing of best practice and a highly visible communications campaign are keeping BAE Systems workers safe globally
The high-profile safety campaign, which has seen a reduction of more than 70 per cent in accident rates in Maritime – Naval Ships and Maritime Services, more than 13,000 safety improvements, and more than 80 best practice initiatives shared between the Maritime businesses, has received BAE Systems’ highest honour.
The Safety First campaign won Gold at the prestigious Chairman’s Awards ceremony in Washington D.C. The team, recognised under the Transferring Best Practice category, is one of just eight Gold winners from across BAE Systems.
Safety First was originally developed within Submarines and Military, Air & Information (MAI) and, from 2004-2009, saw a 90 per cent reduction in lost time accidents. It was so successful that the best practice and lessons learned were shared and rolled out across Naval Ships and Maritime Services businesses in 2009.
The programme promoted leadership and employee engagement through a mix of best practice tools and techniques from across BAE Systems, alongside a highly visible communications campaign to keep the focus on safety throughout the day.
“safety is now our number one consideration throughout the day. our ultimate goal is accident-free employment”
Safety First is now keeping workers safe globally, with teams in the US, Australia and Saudi Arabia working together and sharing best practice to make sure all BAE Systems employees understand and take ownership of their personal responsibilities.
Steve Messam, Head of Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) for Naval Ships and Maritime Services, led on the campaign from 2009, working closely with Heads of Safety across Maritime and Programmes & Support.
He said: “When we started this journey three years ago we were having two or three severe incidents every week, and it was clear that without a paradigm shift in our performance we were heading towards a very serious accident.
“So we struck the Safety First strategy, following a thorough review with my colleagues in the Programmes and Support SHE Policy Board. Working closely with Danny Martland (SHE Director MAI) and Ian Worrall (Head of SHE Maritime – Submarines) we shared more than 80 best practice initiatives across our businesses. Without this level of collaboration and sharing of best practice it would have taken a lot longer to achieve.”