In a recent Engineering Network News (ENN) article, global engineering firm and JMJ client JGC Corporation is featured, reporting a sharp decline in their work-related injuries and deaths as a result of implementing an Incident and Injury-Free™ (IIF™) safety approach within the organisation. This article reports on improved project performance and project margins at JGC.
Sharp Drop In Number of Incidents Due to Incident and Injury-Free™ (IIF™) Program “Mutual Recognition” Creates Good Atmosphere at Worksite
Work-related injuries and deaths in JGC have declined sharply after implementing a program by JMJ Associates, a global safety leadership consultancy firm. Generally, it is believed that in order to reduce work-related injuries and deaths, the emphasis must be on the confirmations and checks of different tasks. However, JMJ Associates’ Incident and Injury-Free™ (IIF™) initiative focuses on changing the mindset of workers.
Sharp drop in number of incidents thanks to the IIF program
JGC Corporation received a project order “Pearl GTL” from Qatar Shell GTL for the construction of the world’s largest GTL plant in September 2005.
In this project, Shell requested that JGC meet the requirements of safety assurance under JMJ Associate’s IIF program, which is a safety approach that had been implemented in Shell for some time. This is when JGC learnt of the IIF safety approach.
JGC implemented the IIF safety approach in 2008 after it conducted a site inspection for the Shell Pearl GTL Project. It also sent all its workers to attend the IIF program training.
The IIF Safety approach is known as a program that effectively leverages the personal beliefs, values and commitments of people. For example, among 100 workers, only 1 worker commits a violation. In this case, under the IIF safety approach, the focus is not on singling out the sole worker who commits the violation. Instead there is an emphasis on recognizing acknowledging when workers are being safe. When workers operating safely are recognized, they will be encouraged to watch out for others. This, in turn, increases the circle of safety. When people are recognised, their motivation improves. This is one characteristic of the IIF safety approach.
Company director, Tsutomu Akabane, who oversaw the implementation of the IIF safety approach, said, “The implementation of IIF [safety] made progress as we personalised safety, which changed the atmosphere at the site.” For example, when workers detect a mistake in the actions of customers, they will point them out and also be careful themselves. This enhances the level of safety awareness of the workers and also safety awareness at the site as a whole.
The success is apparent from the data. In 2008, there were 3 injuries for 200,000 worker-hours. In 2009, there was 1 injury for 38 million worker-hours, and in 2010, there was 0.3 injury for 50 million man -hours. Within a 2-year period after implementation, 1/10 of those injured have been oriented to the IIF approach to safety.
As a result of the success, since 2009, whenever new project orders are received, project managers, construction constructers, and safety managers of the various projects will be called to the Pearl GTL project site and trained on the IIF program.
The IIF safety approach was extended to all overseas projects and has achieved results. In 2013, worker-hours expended by JGC were 137.3 million—taking into account that 45,000 people worked every day. In spite of this, there was not even 1 case of injury that resulted in lost work time. The IIF safety approach was extremely effective.
Due to improvements that the IIF safety approach achieved in its overseas projects, JGC developed a “Good Relationship Campaign” for its domestic projects, borrowing the initials of IIF safety for the Japanese name of this campaign. This campaign was carried out during the construction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa hospital as a hospital Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project, and has reaped positive results.
Initiatives focusing on the mindset
Generally, safety initiatives refer to tasks such as checks to ensure dangerous acts do not occur. However, company director Tsutomu Akabane, who was involved in implementing an IIF safety culture said this is an initiative focusing on mindsets.
Anyone who has been recognised will become more motivated. Therefore the recognition of 10,000 workers who gathered at the project site created a good atmosphere at the site. And when there is improvement in performance, the margins of the project will also improve.
Company director Tsutomu Akabane remarked, “Most incidents are caused by human errors. The cause of human errors is due to organisational weaknesses.”
Workplace incidents can be reduced and performance enhanced if a good atmosphere at the site can be created by having all workers related to the project to show their appreciation to one another.
The IIF safety approach is the best program that uses mutual recognition to improve project performance and enhance safety awareness.
JGC Corporation’s success is apparent from their data.
To see ENB's article in Japanese, please download the PDF through the link above.