INEEL Worker Involvement as a Means of Controlling Their Own Safety Page: 3 of 5
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- Tailoring training appropriate to the craft
- Minimizing paperwork
Each attribute is discussed further below.
Integrating VPP and ISM initiatives with worker involvement
The integration of the VPP and ISM initiatives with worker involvement will give the workers ownership
of their own safety. ISM defines the safety management process, while VPP provides the process to
fundamentally change the safety culture at the worker activity level of the ISM system. Thus, a strong
worker involvement program like that provided by VPP, will significantly enhance the success of ISM
implementation and institutional acceptance, particularly at large complex sites like the INEEL. A
balance in complexity must exist when implementing these processes. Unnecessary paperwork often
overwhelms workers when basic concepts and a clear description of requirements at the worker level
would be sufficient. Careful implementation of ISM and VPP will accomplish this balance.
Building a positive working relationship between workers and first-line management
Building a positive working relationship between workers and first line managers is essential. The old
way of labeling workers as troublemakers discourages feedback. Feedback from workers now needs to be
accepted as valid concerns and discussed with first line managers in a positive way. Some workers have a
"wait and see" attitude before accepting any new program. If the "fence sitters" see that the worker input
and feedback process is not being accepted in a positive way, they will not feel a part of the team and
therefore will not accept the overall ISM process. Middle management's most important role in
implementing ISM is creating a positive feedback "accepting" attitude for first line management and the
work planners. ISM has areas where worker involvement is paramount for its success. If first line
management cannot find the time or personnel for workers to be included in the necessary input and
feedback process, then you don't have ISM.
Build a "questioning attitude" in the work force
Building a questioning attitude in the work force is another role middle management must play.
Procedures and work packages can no longer be accepted with a "verbatim compliance" attitude. They
must be questioned at each step of the process. The crafts must be encouraged to "stop work' at any point
of the process and ask questions if they do not feel comfortable with what they see, without fear of
reprisal or intimidation. This is also an attitude adjustment for first line management and planners. Having
deadlines and milestones to meet can be a major roadblock in allowing the crafts to "stop work" or turn a
work package back to have changes made. If foremen encourage craft workers to continue, reasoning that
"We know what they mean", just to get the work done, the process will fail; if not now, then possibly
later, when someone doesn't know what "They meant'. When the crafts get a work package with Job
Safety Analyses (JSAs), Hazard Identification Analyses (HIAs) and various other analyses, they must not
accept them as all encompassing but be allowed and encouraged to question their completeness. As each
work discipline interacts with the craft at different steps in the process they should encourage and help
develop the questioning attitude. The secondary hazards are the ones that will "Get you" and the crafts
need to be encouraged to help identify and have input in the mitigation of them.
Tailoring training appropriate to the craft
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Fox, David Harold & Hein, Curt David. INEEL Worker Involvement as a Means of Controlling Their Own Safety, article, May 1, 1999; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888655/m1/3/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.