WLS SafetySummit Adapts to Coronavirus Precautions with Positive Safety Culture
The Workplace Learning System SafetySummit event was held as planned in Columbia, SC on March 10-11, but with technology adaptations to take precautions for spread of COVID-19 coronavirus and other infectious diseases like influenza. More than 50 participants from seven companies attended the event, which featured its first "virtual" plant site visit.
Usually, SafetySummit attendees visit a local EnPro Industries plant facility to experience the company's world-class safety culture firsthand. This year, the visit was semi-firsthand. As a worldwide manufacturer, EnPro extended travel and meeting restrictions to locations in the United States and the Americas, not only to locations in Asia and Europe. The Technetics plant facility in Columbia abided by the precautions, which meant that the plant tour was held through a videoconference to the hotel meeting room. SafetySummit attendees were from companies based only in the United States, without travel restrictions. Although the experience was different, the enthusiasm by the Technetics frontline colleagues during their presentations helped bridge the gap.
Other virtual presentations included a visit with Safety Action Team leaders from Bonnell Aluminum and an introduction to culture building through Books@Work. Bonnell Aluminum shared how they implemented Safety Action Teams about a year ago, and what some of their early successes and challenges are. Books@Work is a practice where participants from all levels of a company read a short story unrelated to business, and then spend 45 - 60 minutes in a small group discussion about the story and how it impacts them. The discussion is led by a Books@Work facilitator, usually a local college professor. The Books@Work practice invites colleagues to interact in new and different ways before talking about safety and leadership.
Participants at the SafetySummit also experienced a sample Safety360 Leadership tool, practiced their SafetyMyVoice stories, and learned about other Safety Culture tools such as Care Management and SafetyFirst: Habits of Excellence behavior based safety.
To stay safe and protect themselves and their colleagues from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, participants practiced preventative tips and discussed how to communicate them through their companies:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue available, use the inside sleeve of your arm.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Maintain social distancing (4-6 feet away)
- Avoid unnecessary greetings that require touch or close contact. Fist bump instead of handshakes.
- Disinfect your cell phone with sanitizer wipes.