Determined to be a leader in the prevention of occupational falls – which cause 10% of all occupational fatalities in the United States – the Boeing Company developed the Piranha Lox True Interlock Harness, a fall protection system that disables a work platform if a worker is not properly hooked into his or her Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
In more than 75% of fall-related fatalities, PPE was available but was either not being used or being used incorrectly. Until the Piranha Lox True Interlock Harness fall protection system was invented, no other solution ensured that all PPE connections were secure and safe before a worker could move a work platform upwards.
Advice to Others: "It is important for all team members to have a complete understanding the teams' goals or objectives regarding safety. In addition, all team members should have a detailed understanding of the system, processes and environment where the equipment will be used. This allows individual team members to develop accurate big-picture views that encompass all of the goals and requirements. The genius is in keeping the solution as simple as possible while resolving all known safety concerns and anticipating future needs."
Finalist: The Boeing Co., 777X Design-in Safety and Environment
Through cooperation between the chief design engineer and operations production leader, and input from global production sites, the Design-in Safety and Environment philosophy has influenced the 777X airplane program at every stage of development.
The teams follow a systems engineering approach to include worker safety and environmental requirements in facilities, tooling, equipment and airplane design early in the aircraft product development process, with a focus on proactive intervention. This not only helps reduce potential workplace incidents and minimize environmental impacts, but helps engineers spot and mitigate the potential for new or previously unidentified safety and environmental hazards, and brings the design engineering community into the safety and environment culture.
Advice to Others: "It is very important to include worker safety and environmental requirements in product design, facilities, tooling and equipment, because the product development process is the highest leverage opportunity. It helps design engineers connect with the production operations and the manufacturing environment. Focusing on proactive intervention in this way not only helps reduce potential workplace injuries and minimize environmental impacts, but also helps engineers spot and mitigate the potential for new or previously unidentified safety and environmental hazards."
Finalist: Odebrecht Construction Inc.
Odebrecht Construction Inc. tackled road construction injury rates by implementing a multi-level approach to worker visibility and danger alerts.
To combat visibility issues, Odebrecht utilized a Halo Light, a 360-degree safety system that attaches to a hard hat and produces a ring of light around the worker, and new uniforms offering three levels of visibility protection from AlphaWear. Finally, they used the Transpo's SonoBlaster® Work Zone Intrusion Alarm, an impact-activated device that warns work crews and errant vehicle drivers simultaneously that there has been a breach in the work zone. This combined effort has increased worker morale and job satisfaction while also decreasing work zone intrusions by 52%.
Advice to others: "With the rapid speed of technological advances, there is a consistent pipeline of new technologies being developed virtually every day. Our strongest recommendation for replication would be for other industries to examine their highest risks and explore what technologies are available to assist in mitigating these risks. Newer technologies will not only reduce risk, but a natural consequence of risk reduction will be increased productivity."