Following on from an analysis of the 2014 unsafe behavior’s the senior team at AFS Bachy Soletanche took the decision to find practical, on the job means for supervisors and work team members to control the threats and errors that get in the way of safe work.
It was felt if we could make work site teams more self-determining and more capable in recognising risk, then timely responses would flow more spontaneously in correcting unsafe behaviors as they occur, taking action to correct, to stop as required or to re-plan and re start if necessary.
We introduced the MateSAFE program as a means to
- Creating commitment and accountability in the work site teams
- Introducing the behavior of Teamwork in Safety
- Skills training to coach other employees to safe behavior
- An understanding of how risk is both identified and perceived
MateSAFE is an initiative that highlights the importance of teamwork regarding site safety and responsiveness. Skills training is an integral part of the program in order to promote coaching of other employees towards safe behavior. The key is to build understanding of how a risk is both identified and perceived, and to promote pro-activity throughout the teams.
The introduction of a ‘Meerkat Centurion’ means that AFS Bachy Soletanche can better enforce and encourage commitment and accountability within the work site teams, therefore enabling them to become more self-determining and capable when it comes to recognising risk. This leads to more timely responses, the correction of unsafe behaviors as they occur and duly appointing corrective actions. Such actions could entail a temporary ‘stop work’ situation or a simple restructuring of the current work plan.
AFS Bachy Soletanche combined the existing pre-start process used on all sites, with the appointment of a Meerkat Centurion for each day – nominated from within the site team. This individual is required to act as a sentry and take on daily duties to observe, respond and report safety concerns additionally to carrying out responsibilities as per their particular position.
Corrections can be made as each day progresses or matters are raised and reported as with the next day’s pre-start talk. Feedback received from supervisors has been extremely positive, and the concept has been fully embraced as part of AFS Bachy Soletanche daily processes.