Bus Manufacturer Reduces Its Workers’ Compensation Costs by More Than $1.3 Million by Implementing SafetyIMPACT!

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The culture-based safety management system continues to yield amazing results.

Of course we’re proud of this achievement

In today’s turbulent business environment, no one can afford to waste money, and one bus manufacturer has learned that reducing worker injuries is more than the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do. O/E, a leader in workplace safety improvement, has successfully concluded another SafetyIMPACT! engagement, this time for a large bus manufacturer which lowered its Workers’ Compensation costs more than a million dollars.

“Of course we’re proud of this achievement,” remarks O/E CEO, Rick Vlasic. “In addition to the reduction in the human cost of injuries, we saved this client a tremendous amount of money. And, we helped a lot of people by making their jobs both safer and more secure.”

In addition to bus manufacturing, O/E has implemented SafetyIMPACT! in the automotive, heavy truck, parts manufacturing, aerospace, parts distribution, engine manufacturing, and even healthcare industries.
“SafetyIMPACT! gets such consistently good results that we’re not surprised that this client was so successful,” recalls O/E Director of Performance Improvement, Phil La Duke. The phrases ’culture change’ and ’safety culture’ have become popular buzzwords in the worker safety industry, but, unfortunately, there are a lot of providers who really don’t understand what it takes to effectively change a culture. If a company hopes to achieve dramatic, lasting results, then it needs to concentrate on changing the way its workforce thinks about and views worker safety; that’s the secret to our success.”

The O/E SafetyIMPACT! coach assigned to this project, Bill Sagy, echoes La Duke’s views. ”The SafetyIMPACT! process is really about guiding the customer through difficult changes and helping them to stay focused on specific goals until they start to reap the benefits. The process is rewarding for me, because I get to see firsthand the struggles that the client faces, and am able to help them to overcome the obstacles of changing their culture,” remarks Sagy.

Another important consideration for the bus manufacturer was the worker-friendly philosophy of SafetyIMPACT!. “We worked with seven different unions on our heavy truck engagements, and worked with the UAW in the creation of B.E.S.T., so we have a lot of credibility within organized labor,” says La Duke. “We use process improvement techniques to change the way people think about the safety of the workplace, and changing the attitudes, in turn changes the behaviors.”

In 2006, O/E began working with a heavy truck manufacturer to change the culture of five manufacturing locations in the U.S. and Canada. The massive undertaking, which required O/E to assign coaches to year-long engagements at each of the locations, took over 18 months to complete, and resulted in unprecedented improvements in worker safety at the heavy truck manufacturer. That project was expanded to the company’s facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

“Each of the locations saw a return on their investment in eight months or less, and some locations saw results that were just staggering,” recounts La Duke. “One plant alone had been trending toward a Workers’ Compensation cost of over $10 million and, after implementing SafetyIMPACT!, finished the year at just under $2 million. But, beyond that, the locations average $1.3 million in first-year savings, and those savings continue long after O/E has left the premises.”

“Interest in SafetyIMPACT! is mounting as executives eager to increase bottom line earnings and operating efficiency look to new ways to reduce the cost associated with worker injuries,” explains Vlasic. “One thing that really incents these companies to act is the reduction in Workers’ Compensation reserves,” he continues. “Lower reserves frees up cash at a time when accessibility of cash is essential. Between the rising costs of healthcare, the limited availability of credit, and the economic uncertainty, more and more companies are seeing the value in this kind of initiative.”

SafetyIMPACT! is a culture-based safety system designed to reduce worker injuries and lower costs through the implementation of six values and four practices common to the world’s safest companies. Central to this system is a proprietary database that records hazards, identifies the root causes of these hazards, and tracks them to correction. The philosophy that is the foundation of SafetyIMPACT! is that all injuries can be prevented by identifying and removing the hazards before workers are injured.

O/E Learning, Inc.
Established in 1984, O/E Learning designs and develops new training and performance improvement programs, as well as converts existing programs to different forms of delivery including Web-based, instructor-led, virtual classroom, CD/DVD, and mobile devices. O/E’s diverse services range from organizational development initiatives to professional certifications in safety, quality, and employee involvement. The privately held company is headquartered in Troy, MI. Leverage Life, a wholly owned subsidiary, is headquartered in Pleasanton, CA and focuses on providing corporate Concierge, Wellness, and Work/Life programs. Learn more about O/E at: http://www.oe.com.


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