It’s amazing how a game of Jenga can encourage safe behavior.
O.K., the “Live It. Lead It.” safety training for employees at Cummins involves a lot more than stacking blocks. But many participating employees say the class is doing more to promote safety than any training they’ve ever taken.
“The experience I had in the classroom was different than any training I’ve ever had,” said Debbie Liming, a Manufacturing Support Technician at the company’s Columbus Engine Plant (CEP) in Columbus, Indiana. “The leaders were open. They talked about situations they’d had here at work and also at home – which you never hear that at all.”
Stacy Workman-Wyatt, the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Leader at CEP, says the training makes safety personal while involving an element of team building and fun.
“Live It. Lead It. is really a way of life,” said Workman-Wyatt, who was part of the team that put the employee training together.
“To live it means you will share your personal values by actively caring for others,” she said. “To lead it means when you witness an unsafe behavior or unsafe condition, you correct the issue or find someone who can.”
Live It. Lead It. started as a training for leaders to motivate them to take a personal interest in managing safety. They were asked to share their experiences with workplace injuries and the impact those injuries had on employees and their families. They were also asked to imagine how they might feel if their own family members were working at places in their plants, warehouses, laboratories or other locations with potential hazards.
The training was extremely popular and Cummins’ Corporate Health & Safety team decided to come up with a similar class for employees known as “Passport to Safety.”
One of the first things a team of CEP and Corporate Health & Safety leaders decided was the training should be led by someone who was supervising the employees participating in the class rather than a person from health and safety.
They wanted to strengthen the relationship between managers and the employees they supervise as well as among the employees themselves, demonstrating that health and safety belongs to everyone, not just the Health & Safety function.
Participants play Jenga as they post notes with suggestions for improving safety. Falling towers symbolize barriers breaking down. Then it gets personal. Participants are asked to return with pictures of what motivates them to come home safely after work. The pictures are often of family members and the stories can be very emotional.
“Employees often learn things they never knew about the people they work with,” Workman-Wyatt said.
Stan Woszczynski, Vice President – Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, attended one of the trainings for hourly employees at Cummins.
“The employees embraced the training by citing personal experiences and participating in the exercises,” he said. “We all came away with a new outlook on staying safe.”
The training encourages safety in all aspects of an employee’s life – at home and at work. Many sites have incorporated aspects of Live It. Lead It. into a game children can play when they visit their parents’ workplace.
“A safety mindset doesn’t end when you leave work,” Workman-Wyatt said. “It’s something you practice in every aspect of your life.”
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