Honeywell Defense and Space President Carey Smith recently spoke on the role of safety as part of the Honeywell Operating System (HOS) to thousands of safety and health experts at the National Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association (VPPPA) Safety and Health conference in Orlando, Florida.
“Health and safety is baked into our company DNA and is part of our corporate culture,” said Smith. “We apply the same rigor to health and safety management that we apply to other core business processes – like technology development, strategic planning and people development. We firmly believe that a strong safety culture is not just the right thing to do – it’s good business, too.”
During the keynote presentation, Smith spoke to how Honeywell safety initiatives, a part of the company's culture, align with the core tenets of the Volunteer Protection Program (VPP), an initiative designed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to encourage the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses through hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training and cooperation between management and employees. Honeywell’s Global Total Case Incident Rate (the number of occupational injuries or illnesses per 100 full-time employees per year) was 0.47 as of December 31, 2015. This is more than two times better than the average of the industries in which the Company operates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
During her presentation, Smith emphasized the benefits of VPP and how it helps Honeywell engage with area OSHA offices and officials to improve our ongoing HSE management efforts. She spoke about three simple steps:
- Dive in! Engage in the VPP process: The VPP process is an ideal management system for those who are looking to establish a management systems approach to safety. For those that already have a defined system, use the Key tenants of VPP to drive further integration of the VPP concepts into your program.
- Engage all levels of employees in the process and educate, educate, educate: Turn the organizational pyramid upside down and engage those employees who are exposed to HSE risks. These are the people who have the best understanding of the risks and the solutions to reduce and/or eliminate them. Educate everyone from the top down, bottom up and all sides in between. Require full engagement and commitment to the VPP process.
- Realize that the VPP process is a journey: Success can take a while. Remember that you never reach the finish line when it comes to improving HSE – there is always room for improvement!
The four-day VPPPA conference brought together more than 2,500 safety and health experts from hundreds of industries, providing them the opportunity to share their challenges, expertise and success stories in creating safer environments for their peers and colleagues. More than 2,300 work sites in 400 industries covering greater than 1 million workers participate in VPP in the U.S., including 25 Honeywell sites.