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Entertainment Safety Solutions reduces losses by improving the safety culture and identifying at risk behaviors that lead to accidents.


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Our amusement park safety products and services are specially designed for the amusement industry. If you are interested in improving your bottom-line, we have proven results at reducing losses and improving profit.

 


group-business-people-.jpgNo matter if it's knowledge mined during our Safety Leadership Training or exhibited through observable behaviors; the bottom line is this, where our safety principles have been applied, Worker's Compensation and General Liability claims have been dramatically reduced.

Imagine your organization is a place where employees hold themselves and others accountable for safety performance. 

If you can imagine it, we can make it real.

If you remember one thing about our services please let it be that your employees possess all the elements required for us to transform your safety "program" into safety excellence. 

Actual Outcome, Case Study - 1

Introduction - Case Study 1

Here are actual results of an amusement park company with multiple amusement park properties that benefited from our amusement park safety improvement strategies. We began in early 2008 by taking their corporate management team through Safety Leadership Training to create a solid safety culture foundation. We then provided training to all of the park level management teams and over the course of the operating season we performed three rounds of Safe Behavior Sampling on their rides and water attractions.

In the third year of working with this company we introduced additional leadership training and a simple safety auditing checklist.  The results over a three year period were 79% reduction in frequency of general liability claims and the Workers' Compensation claim frequency was reduced by 29%.

Safety Leadership Training

This two day training is designed to enhance the organizational safety culture. This is an important first step since what's viewed as important by the management team is seen as important by employees. In most companies production and revenue is the top priority and employees will naturally focus their energy towards these goals. The idea here was to educate why and how to elevate safety as a top priority among production and revenue. The outcome was a shift towards safety in the organizational culture.  The modules in the training were:

  • Safety Leadership vs. Safety Management
  • Creating the Safety Culture
  • Safety in Decision Making
  • Accountability
  • Managing Losses
  • Financial Forecasting
  • The Hidden Costs of Accidents
  • Mitigating Claims and Litigation

Safe Behavior Sampling

This process involved observing the physical ride characteristics and operator behaviors over multiple ride cycles in eight amusement and water parks.  Safe Behavior Sampling is a method of collecting data through observation of employees for expected safe behaviors and undesired or at-risk behaviors.  The outcome of the process is a percentage of expected safe behaviors as compared to at-risk behaviors. The data is then used to determine risk factors, antecedent events leading to accidents, and as a tool to correct employee behaviors to be consistent with their training. The purpose of this process is to reduce or eliminate accidents caused by employee at-risk behaviors.

A dynamic factor created during this process, is expressed as the Achievement Ratio. Simply put, this is the mean of actual performances when compared to expected performance of behaviors measured. The formulas used in this process are: (1) Expected Performance (EP) minus Actual Performance (AP) equals Performance Gap (PG), and, (2) Performance Gap (PG) divided by Expected Performance (EP) equals Achievement Ratio (AR%). 

Three separate behavior audits of ride operators were performed over the course of the operating seasons.  The data was collected using tablet PC's powered by our proprietary behavior sampling and data analysis software.  The ride categories observed were:

  • Multiple operator coasters
  • Multiple operator flat rides
  • Multiple operator water rides
  • Multiple operator water slides

           

  • Single operator flat rides
  • Single operator kiddie rides
  • Single operator mini locomotives
  • Single operator water slides

Physical ride characteristics measured were:

  1. Ride perimeter fencing;
  2. Fall hazard and arrest features;
  3. Ride signage;
  4. Public address and other audio;
  5. Safety equipment, e.g. fire extinguisher, water cooler; height stick, rescue tube.

Ride operator behaviors measured were:

  1. Proper number of attendants;
  2. Verbal communication;
  3. Listening;
  4. Eye contact;
  5. Hand signals;
  6. Signal verification;
  7. Alert and aware;
  8. Visual scanning;
  9. Managing ride station;
  10. Height check;
  11. Loading and securing;
  12. Main panel security;
  13. Proper dispatch;
  14. Track cross procedures;
  15. Lockout/tagout.

Over the course of a single season and three observation sessions per each of the eight parks, more than 10,000 behaviors were collected and analyzed. 
 
All of the ride operators observed were trained and certified to operate the rides. Within the training are the critical behaviors listed above.  Even though the knowledge and skills of the employees was tested post-training, when their behaviors were later observed, their actual performance did not consistently match their expected performance. This difference is the performance gap.  Employee behaviors within the performance gap are often the at-risk behaviors that lead to ride accidents.

Analysis of ride operator behavior data indicates that performance gaps existed in all of the samples collected.  We also found that reasons for the performance gaps were similar across the data set.  These are training  retention;  the employees’ desire to fit into their group environment; an unwillingness to challenge the status quo; apathy towards stepping up into a leadership role; and a failure by supervision to recognize and correct undesired behaviors or reinforce and praise desired behaviors.

Employees’ reacquisition of the skills when confronted about their behaviors has had various degrees of success.  However, reinforcement by supervisors of desired safe behaviors resulted in vastly reduced at-risk behaviors and a significant reduction in accident frequency.

Ten Point Safety Inspection

The purpose of this process was to create safety auditors out of every management team member at each park. Since safety compliance is highly technical the best approach here was to start simple and build upon knowledge gained over time.  To do this we compartmentalized the topic into ten categories.  This gave structure to the process and the end product, such as reports and follow-up documentation.

Each manager was expected to perform three safety audits during their park manager duty shifts.  The audit locations were predetermined by the safety departments to ensure each ride, attraction, restaurant, and maintenance facility was audited systematically. Over the course of the operating season this process accomplished a continuous safety inspection process and netted approximately 600 formal safety audits performed by the management team, per park! Considering eight parks that's 4,800 formal safety inspections for the company.

Prior to the launch of the program all management team members were trained on the ten safety categories and provided with sub information to augment the list.  Additional consequences of this process were management team members with much improved safety knowledge, improved hazard identification skills, and a solid safety culture. The ten categories are outlined here without accompanying sub hazard information:

  1. Area is clean, well maintained and free of clutter and debris.
  2. Aisles, paths, and stairs maintain 36" clearance and are free of obstruction.
  3. Fire protection equipment is present and in proper working condition.
  4. Materials are appropriately labeled and properly stored.
  5. Electrical panels and outlets are in good condition and are free of obstruction.
  6. Flexible electrical cords are in good condition and are properly used.
  7. Personal Protective Equipment is available and properly used.
  8. Equipment, tools, and machinery is properly used and guarded as required.
  9. Lighting is adequate, proper for use, and well maintained.
  10. Exits are clearly marked and free of obstruction.

4_Year_Chart_GL_W_Heading.pngConclusion

In order to create the safety culture and to see drastic reductions in claims frequencies it's critical that the top management team understand their role as stakeholders, and where appropriate, leaders of the processes. Clear lines of accountability and consequences, both positive and negative, must be identified and communicated throughout the organization. A little training and a few adjustments in safety measurement and performance rewards goes a long way in shifting cultures.

Behavioral safety science is most effective in creating the safest possible environments where human beings interact with machinery. Deployment of the process takes safety professionals that are trained and skilled in behavior sciences and at recognizing both desired and at-risk employee behaviors on amusement rides. Data collection and analysis should be performed by trusted professionals.

Over the course of the summer operating seasons more than 10,000 behaviors were collected and analyzed.  Through this process at-risk behaviors were identified and corrected along the way and changes in behaviors were easily tracked for improvement or decay. Some deterioration of the physical ride characteristics were also noted and corrected.

To further improve upon this process, the challenge is to create an environment where employees stay in integrity with their training and hold others accountable for critical behaviors. In this environment rides do not run when critical behaviors are not present. This can be accomplished by introducing desired behaviors during training as core values paramount to the safe operation of amusement rides. The values can then be directly linked to the critical measurable behaviors. These measurable behaviors can be taught and tested as knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are meaningful to daily routine functions specific to safely operating amusement rides.  This creates a systemic solution through biasing employee attitudes about the cri4_Year_Chart_WC_W_Heading.pngtical behaviors from the outset. 

Involvement of the parks' management teams in the safety improvement process had considerable positive effects. By owning the safety processes the management teams greatly improved the overall safety of the parks as seen by the reduction in both employee and guest injuries.  Workers' Compensation claims (measured at claims per 10K manhours) were reduced by 29% and general liability claims (Measured at claims per 50 visits) were reduced by 79% over a three year period.

Actual Outcome - Case Study 2

SF_GL_3_Year.pngIntroduction - Case Study 2

Case Study 2 shows the actual results of a large amusement park organization operating nine park properties that benefited from our amusement park safety improvement strategies. We began during Year 1 by taking the individual parks' management teams through Safety Leadership Training to create a solid safety culture foundation.

 SF_WC_3_Year.png

We then performed two rounds of Safe Behavior Sampling on their rides, water attractions, and maintenance activities. During the third year we included Safe Behavior Sampling of their capital construction sites. 

The results over three years were 45% reduction in frequency of general liability claims (measured at Claims per 100K visits) and the Workers' Compensation claims (measured at Claims per 10K manhours) frequency was reduced by 50%.

Safety Leadership Training

This two day training is designed to enhance the organizational safety culture. This is an important first step since what's viewed as important by the management team will be important to employees. In most companies production and revenue is the top priority and employees will naturally focus their energy towards these goals. The idea here is to educate why and how to elevate safety as a top priority among production and revenue. The outcome is a shift towards safety in the organizational culture.  The modules in the training were: 

  • Identify and Recognize Safe Behavior
  • Isolate and Correct At-Risk Behavior
  • Incorporate Safety into the Process
  • Reach a Higher Level of Organizational Trust
  • Create Positive Employee and Customer Perceptions
  • Promote Safety Empowerment
  • Seek out, Discover, and Enhance Opportunities
  • Recognize Behavior and Reward Good Behavior
  • Practice Team Building Skills
  • Build Upon Existing Safety Values

Safe Behavior Sampling

This process involved observing the physical ride characteristics and operator behaviors over multiple ride cycles in eight amusement and water parks.  Safe Behavior Sampling is a method of collecting data through observation of employees for expected safe behaviors and undesired or at-risk behaviors.  The outcome of the process is a percentage of expected safe behaviors as compared to at-risk behaviors. The data is then used to determine risk factors, antecedent events leading to accidents, and as a tool to correct employee behaviors to be consistent with their training. The purpose of this process is to reduce or eliminate accidents caused by employee at-risk behaviors.

A dynamic factor created during this process, is expressed as the Achievement Ratio. Simply put, this is the mean of actual performances when compared to expected performance of behaviors measured. The formulas used in this process are: (1) Expected Performance (EP) minus Actual Performance (AP) equals Performance Gap (PG), and, (2) Performance Gap (PG) divided by Expected Performance (EP) equals Achievement Ratio (AR%);

Two separate behavior audits of ride operators and maintenance activities were performed over the course of the operating seasons.  The data was collected using paper data sheets consisting of pre-identified critical safe and at-risk behaviors. 

  • Multiple operator coasters
  • Multiple operator flat rides
  • Multiple operator water rides
  • Multiple operator water slides

           

  • Single operator flat rides
  • Single operator kiddie rides
  • Single operator mini locomotives
  • Single operator water slides

 Physical ride characteristics measured were:

  1. Ride perimeter fencing;
  2. Fall hazard and arrest features;
  3. Ride signage;
  4. Public address and other audio;
  5. Safety equipment, e.g. fire extinguisher, water cooler; height stick, rescue tube.

Ride operator behaviors measured were:

  1. Proper number of attendants;
  2. Verbal communication;
  3. Listening;
  4. Eye contact;
  5. Hand signals;
  6. Signal verification;
  7. Alert and aware;
  8. Visual scanning;
  9. Managing ride station;
  10. Height check;
  11. Loading and securing;
  12. Main panel security;
  13. Proper dispatch;
  14. Track cross procedures;
  15. Lockout/tagout.

Maintenance activity categories observed were:

  1. Good house keeping
  2. PPE use
  3. Proper machine guarding
  4. Labeling
  5. Proper work methods (vs. shortcuts)
  6. Safe distance from hazards (moving rides)
  7. Lockout/Tagout
  8. Hotwork activities
  9. Fall protection
  10. Seat belt use
  11. Speed limits observed
  12. Proper rider positions

Over the course of a single season and three observation sessions per each of the eight parks, thousands of behaviors were collected and analyzed. 
 
All of the ride operators and maintenance personnel observed were trained and certified to operate and maintain rides. Within the training are the critical behaviors listed above.  Even though the knowledge and skills of the employees was tested post-training, when their behaviors were later observed, their actual performance did not consistently match their expected performance. This difference is the performance gap.  Employee behaviors within the performance gap are often the at-risk behaviors that lead to ride accidents.

Analysis of employee behavior data indicated that performance gaps existed in all of the samples collected.  We also found that reasons for the performance gaps were similar across the data set.  These are training  retention;  the employees’ desire to fit into their group environment; an unwillingness to challenge the status quo; apathy towards stepping up into a leadership role; and a failure by supervision to recognize and correct undesired behaviors or reinforce and praise desired behaviors.

Employees’ reacquisition of the skills when confronted about their behaviors has had various degrees of success.  However, reinforcement by supervisors of desired safe behaviors resulted in vastly reduced at-risk behaviors and a significant reduction in accident frequency.

Conclusion

In order to create the safety culture and to see drastic reductions in claims frequencies it's critical that the top management team understand their role as stakeholders, and where appropriate, leaders of the processes. Clear lines of accountability and consequences, both positive and negative, must be identified and communicated throughout the organization. A little training and a few adjustments in safety measurement and performance rewards goes a long way in shifting cultures.

Behavioral safety science is most effective in creating the safest possible environments where human beings interact with machinery. Deployment of the process takes safety professionals that are trained and skilled in behavior sciences and at recognizing both desired and at-risk employee behaviors on amusement rides. Data collection and analysis should be performed by trusted professionals.

Over the course of the summer operating seasons thousands of behaviors were collected and analyzed.  Through this process at-risk behaviors were identified and corrected along the way and changes in behaviors were easily tracked for improvement or decay. Some deterioration of the physical ride characteristics were also noted and corrected.

To further improve upon this process, the challenge is to create an environment where employees stay in integrity with their training and hold others accountable for critical behaviors. In this environment rides do not run when critical behaviors are not present. This can be accomplished by introducing desired behaviors during training as core values paramount to the safe operation of amusement rides. The values can then be directly linked to the critical measurable behaviors. These measurable behaviors can be taught and tested as knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are meaningful to daily routine functions specific to safely operating and maintaining amusement rides.  This creates a systemic solution through biasing employee attitudes about the critical behaviors from the outset. 

Involvement of the parks' management teams in the safety improvement process had considerable positive effects. By owning the safety processes the management teams greatly improved the overall safety of the parks as seen by the reduction in both employee and guest injuries.  Workers' Compensation claims were reduced by 50% and general liability claims were reduced by 45% over a three year period.