Trending Content

Caterpillar Safety Services launches new programs

By Stephen Elliott

March 10, 2024

Caterpillar Safety ServicesCaterpillar safety program, a part of Caterpillar, Irving, Texas, recently launched two updates to its programs contributing to resilient safety cultures: an updated safety perception survey and a program focused on human and organizational performance. Caterpillar Safety Services is in its 50th year of operations.

Safety perception survey 

The Caterpillar Safety Services Safety Perception Survey analyzes an organization’s safety culture. Building on 35 years of research and study, the new safety perception survey updates language and modern concepts of safety culture excellence, adding questions related to psychological safety and human and organizational performance.

The new survey’s reports are streamlined with more modern visualization of the data. They measure five safety activities: hazard identification, event learning, inspections, near miss and safety meetings. The reports also address 11 cultural indicators, including caring climate, employee involvement, feedback, management credibility, training effectiveness and risk reduction. It also shows how safety is perceived differently among employees, supervisors and managers.

Human and organizational performance

Human and organizational performance is a framework concept for talking about safety and creating a resilient safety culture, the company said. It’s a mindset that allows organizations to build more error-tolerant systems by teaching leaders that expecting perfection from workers, processes or procedures is not realistic. Traditional methods of managing safety systems center around designing policies, standard work and processes assuming work happens in a straight line. Management sets the expectations, tells workers what to do and the workers do it the same way, every day.

This method, however, does not account for organizational factors that can disrupt the system, such as employees not having the right tools for the job and adapting or making tradeoffs because they are still required to meet production targets. Nor does it account for the individual factors that impact a worker’s awareness, or lapses in attention due to events in his or her personal life, such as a family emergency. When workers deviate from the safety plan or make mistakes under the traditional model, they may be scrutinized or punished to attempt to improve safety, but this can have the opposite effect and lead to a weaker safety culture.

Using human and organizational performance principles, Caterpillar Safety Services applies a new understanding of human behavior to safety. Leaders create an environment where employees feel empowered to speak up to share their ideas, struggles and mistakes. The organization learns to improve its safety system continuously. Through recognition of workers’ positive contributions, they want to be more involved, resulting in a more engaged and proactive safety culture with improvements in morale, retention, efficiency and profitability.

Caterpillar Safety Services assists organizations with implementation of human and organizational performance principles through its Leadership Development and Coaching program. Tailored to the specific needs and objectives of the individual leaders, the program includes a mix of workshops, assessments and individual face-to-face sessions. It helps each leader understand their strengths and areas for development in safety management, demonstrates how a leader impacts the safety culture, and creates personalized development plans for all leaders that align with organizational goals and processes.