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Environmental, Health, and Safety—Observation and Safety Go Hand-in-Hand

A construction crew at a safety meeting.
The Blount Island Marine Terminal Wharf Rehabilitation Phase 2 project cew gather for an early morning safety meeting. Photo credit: BIMT Wharf Project Team

After a historic safety year in 2022 in which Manson achieved its lowest injury rate performance since the company first began tracking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recordable rate, the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Department continues to push programs that have helped the company reach a higher standard of safety.

In recent years, the EHS department launched new programs, including a Behavior-Based Safety Observation (BBS) Program that focuses on hand safety for craft workers. The program contributed to the decline of injuries in Manson’s Gulf and East Coast (GEC) region, with more than 361,000 man-hours working injury-free. “The BBS Hand Safety program is designed with an intervention process to promote safety,” says Offshore EHS Manager Scot Badeaux. “The program is intended to reduce hand injuries on job sites by using a proactive approach to help project staff and craft leaders identify unsafe practices while working and operating heavy equipment.”

A man giving a presentation on safety.
Offshore EHS Manager Scot Badeaux continuing his discussion on the importance of hand safety with Manson’s Houma Yard during Safety Week. Photo credit: Jennifer Jaccuzzo—Office Manager

The BBS Hand Safety program was developed by Scot—who has previous experience with BBS programs—, GEC EHS Manager Taner Nierengarten, and Learning & Development’s Master Learning Facilitator Doug Boehm. The trio created presentations and hand observation cards to be reviewed by Manson’s leadership, with the goal to help expand on an Incident and Injury Free (IIF) culture through training and safety behavior observations. “The Gulf and East Coast area leadership were very receptive to the program,” Taner explains. “They saw the importance of reducing hand injuries and teaching our staff and craft how to identify potential hazards and how it will help them provide solutions to a variety of situations.”

After receiving the green light to move forward with the program, Scot and Taner mobilized to Manson’s Blount Island Marine Terminal (BIMT) Rehabilitation Phase 2 project in Jacksonville, Florida, to train the project team and craft leadership about the basics of hand safety observations. The two-day training consisted of instruction and ended with hand safety observation activities that helped project personnel develop a better understanding of identifying unsafe behaviors with a multitude of project tasks. Participants were asked to randomly observe the hand placement of personnel during a certain task or assignment at BIMT. Findings were documented on observation sheets, and observers approached the crew to discuss potential risks and correct mistakes.

“Project and craft leadership improved hazardous identification skills, and also built stronger communication between BIMT crews and built trust with one another,” Scot says. “It was an effective team-building situation, and it showcased everyone’s commitment to safety and a significant upswing to advance our IIF culture.”

Over three months, more than 200 observations were made during the BIMT project. The observations raised personnel interaction and safety awareness regarding hand safety on project sites. In addition, the observation sheets were made into 4 x 5 flashcards to help individuals fill out forms, and the department added EHS procedures to the card.

“Communication on a routine basis is key to implementing safety measures and a way to improve our safety culture at Manson,” explains EHS Director Forrest Ray. “Hearing from various people in the field is invaluable and really helps us reel in our goal to keep people safe.”

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