Keywords: vehicle, safety, workplace transport, driver, site, CF, CFF, fork-lift truck (FLT), DMAIC.
CF Fertilisers UK Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CF Industries Holdings Inc. and has two manufacturing facilities in the UK. These produce ammonia and nitric acid, plus a combined output of ammonium nitrate prills and NPKs, approaching two million tonnes per year. Aside from the inherent safety hazards associated with these manufacturing processes, arguably the greatest safety challenge faced relates to workplace transport. Both sites are heavily reliant on vehicle activities ranging from raw material deliveries through to product collections.
This paper is a case study that provides an account of the Vehicle Safety Improvement Project that has transformed workplace transport practices and the vehicle safety culture at both sites. A cross-functional team with a broad range of experience and knowledge was created to drive the improvements. The project was structured using the Lean Six Sigma tool DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyse-Improve-Control) with a keen focus on workforce engagement and data-based problem solving. The project team researched relevant UK legislation and visited several other sites to share best practices, both of which provided a rich source of improvement ideas. A standardised approach to risk assessment was adopted to identify hazards and to introduce controls that mitigate the risk of injury or damage.
The paper outlines a number of improvement initiatives that have been successfully implemented, many of which were simple and low cost. These initiatives were categorised as Safe site, Safe vehicle or Safe driver. Vehicle-pedestrian segregation became a primary goal, notably in vehicle intensive areas where the use of physical barriers, designated walkways and clear signage were introduced to good effect. The paper also describes the approach taken to embed and sustain these improvements. A governance process that includes reviews of key performance metrics and compliance audits has been introduced.
In 2015 there was a 250% increase in the reporting of vehicle related incidents and near misses, compared with 2014, indicating a cultural improvement in attitudes to safety, plus a significant reduction in vehicle related injuries. A charity fund-raising scheme that aims to promote better ownership for vehicles and vehicle safety raised an impressive £20,000 for nominated local charities. The team is proud of the achievements so far and remains cautiously optimistic that the progress made can be sustained. But with vehicle safety the stakes are always high and there is no room for complacency!
Dave Phelan, CF Fertilisers UK Ltd., Ince, Cheshire CH2 4LB, United Kingdom
24 pages, 12 figures, 2 tables, 6 plates, 14 references