HPC Industrial Kentucky branch earns observation-based safety award


HPC Industrial Kentucky branch earns observation-based safety award

October 07, 2022 | HPC Industrial

​The HPC Industrial team at the Catlettsburg, Kentucky, branch is playing the no blame game – and being rewarded for it. They recently received a Behavior Based Safety (BBS) award from Marathon Petroleum.

BBS is designed to prevent accidents and injuries by aligning safety habits all levels through observation-based feedback. Once certified, employees and contractors are encouraged to observe each other to potentially identify at risk actions. The observer records any unsafe acts – and suggests areas for improvement – but does not identify the company or those involved.

"It's a no name, no blame observation," said Health and Safety Manager Rodger McBride. "The goal is to hold each employee or contractor responsible for themselves and improve the overall safety culture."

The Marathon refinery implemented the program about 11 years ago and now encourages all of its more than 400 contractors, including 27 HPC Industrial employees on site, to become a trained observer.

To further motivate observers, Marathon added a little competition to the mix. Each month, Marathon selects one entry that embodies BBS and rewards that contractor by adding its name to a trophy. Although no names are included on the forms, observing employees identify where they work through a company code.

Marathon selected one of HPC Industrial observation forms as the February winner. The team, all who are BBS trained, weren't notified of which entry earned them a plaque on the Marathon BBS trophy. McBride said observations generally range in scope from not having safety glasses on correctly, completing a job with the wrong type of gloves or not wearing hearing protection.

"There really aren't any major safety issues at this point," he said. "From when I started in '96, safety has improved dramatically, in part due to BBS. People are more safety conscious."

Marathon Plant Manager Jay Richert presented McBride and Catlettsburg Branch Manager Nate Mattingly with the trophy on March 10. The entire team, who has worked together for nearly 15 years, also celebrated with a catered lunch on March 14.

Now, the team will vie for another win next month.

"We're going to shoot to get our names on the trophy each month," McBride said. "On top of submitting observations regularly, this is also about a commitment to working safely every day – to go home the same way you came in."