Making Essential Skills Training Profitable – Part 8: Boeing’s Incident and Injury Free (IIF) Training Solution

June 25, 2018 JP GirouxThe Learning Centre

Boeing Winnipeg is one of the largest aerospace composite manufacturers in Canada employing over 1,600 people.  The Winnipeg site is part of Boeing Fabrication within Boeing Commercial Airplanes helping sustain production by being responsible for nearly 1,000 end-item parts and assemblies for current 7-series jetliners. This Boeing Fabrication business unit is also a tier 1 supplier to the 787 Dreamliner. 

Training rational: Personal ownership and better communications

Boeing has a major Enterprise-wide safety initiative called “Go for Zero”. This initiative sets the vision for all Boeing facilities to achieve 100% incident and injury free workplace. 

To support this initiative, Boeing Winnipeg implemented an Incident and Injury Free (IIF) training program to create a workplace and culture that enables all employees to go home, every day, in as good or better health than they arrived.

By bettering communication, raising awareness and mindfulness of risks, driving personal ownership and responsibility, driving sustainable, continuous improvement of safety behaviors at work and home, the goal was to be able to track incidents (accidents, injuries and near misses) as they relate to number, severity and lost time, and more importantly to witness the number of improvements being made to increase safety.

A total of 1533 employees participated, including levels of office employees, employees who work in the production areas, as well as managers and in-company facilitators. Ultimately, IIF is looking at creating a condition at Winnipeg that allows open, honest communication at all levels; surfaces the perceptions of the employees; and creates a dialogue & an on-going coaching relationship for IIF fulfillment.

Results: Strategic outcomes

Rather than a goal of boosting revenue or productivity, the Incident and Injury Free training program was launched to help the organization satisfy a strategic goal or high-level mission statement.  In organization’s own words “to breathe life into the guiding principles underpinning Boeing’s safety program, “Go for Zero”.

“The incident and Injury Free (IIF) engagement program that we delivered at Boeing Canada Winnipeg has been a great first step in generating a new awareness around safety and improving Boeing’s safety culture,” said Marty Lehman, Director Operations Boeing Canada, Winnipeg.

In the short term, Boeing was already seeing a difference in the number of near-miss reports – a 20% increase. It also seems reasonable to view the substantial increase in post-training, near-miss reporting as an encouraging sign – a leading indicator of ultimate success.

In the long run, however, by causing a reduction in the number of accidents or injuries, a newly-introduced safety program may very well save the organization money by reduced medical costs and fewer time-off injuries.