Matt James, Spark’s Director of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment, explains the meaning of “A Perfect Day”
As a provider of power services, we have a goal at Spark that Only Zero is Acceptable.
But what does that mean?
To the organization, I look at Only Zero is Acceptable from a number of perspectives. Some of them are obvious, like zero safety incidents. I think we all get that one. We want to be sure that we are all going home safe after a good day’s work to our friends and family, especially in these trying times of COVID-19. I take comfort in knowing that my health and safety are always the priority at Spark, before anything else I do, every day.
To me as a manager, I am responsible for my team. I know that not only do I have an ethical responsibility to make sure that they are all doing their job safely, but a legal one. I will do my best to make sure that no one on my team is put in a situation where they may feel unsafe.
To me as an employee, I know the executive team has genuine concern and care for the safety of me and all employees. As someone who has frequent conversations with the executive team, I can confidently say that they have genuine concern for each and every one of us who work at Spark.
To me as a parent and partner, I have two teenage daughters. They are my heart and soul. I’m sure if you were to ask them, they would say that I’ve screwed up my fair share of things being a parent, but at the end of the day, I’m “Dad”, and they want me to come home safe. The same goes for my partner. She has made it very clear to me that she wants me to be as safe as possible when I’m at work. Mostly because she doesn’t want to see me hurt, but also because she does not want to go to a hospital at all right now. And personally, I don’t blame her.
What is “A Perfect Day”?
A Perfect Day = a Day without Recordable Incidents, without a Motor Vehicle Incident and where a Near Miss or Hazard Observation was reported.
Leading indicators are proactive, preventive, and predictive measures that provide information about the effective performance of our safety and health activities. They measure events leading up to injuries, illnesses, and other incidents and reveal potential problems. In contrast, lagging indicators measure the occurrence and frequency of events that occurred in the past, such as the number or rate of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.
While lagging indicators can alert us to a failure in an area in regards to our safety and health program, or to the existence of a hazard, leading indicators allow us to take preventive action to address that failure or hazard before it turns into an incident. We are striving to use leading indicators to drive change and lagging indicators to measure effectiveness.
What is a recordable incident? In plain terms, it means “someone got hurt”. It’s also a Key Performance Indicator for what we track as an organization. Total Recordable Injury Frequency (TRIF) is an indicator that we use to track our injury rate. This is an industry standard lagging indicator.
I am asking for all Spark employees to work together to reach some new goals and increase the number of leading indicators we report per month, with a goal of achieving 1,000 per Hazard Observations per month.
This is in addition to what we are completing within our Safety Moments, Tailboards, Pre-Job Hazard Assessments, Meetings, and Inspections. With more leading indicators, we can adapt our health and safety programs to fit you and your needs in the field better. All while working towards our goal of Only Zero is Acceptable. This isn’t that far off from where we are now.
So again, what is my Perfect Day? We talk about and report hazards that we see. If we are talking about them, that means we are seeing them, and taking action on them before someone gets hurt. As a result, we get to go home and be with the people the mean everything to us. That’s a Perfect Day.