CyrusOne hits safety benchmarks, begins another
By Tammy Luther, Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Safety isn’t easy, nor is it routine. Developing a good safety program and safety record takes an immense amount of planning, teamwork and refusal to cut corners. It also requires monitoring and managing human behavior and ever-changing compliance issues and regulations. And it’s not predicated on the work of just one person.
That’s why after all the hard work by our EHS team, CyrusOne’s safety milestones are so gratifying.
From November 2019 through June 2021, we logged more than 1.4 million hours without a lost-time injury. That’s 655 consecutive days without one lost-time injury among our average of 435 employees.
Lost-time injuries are when someone is hurt severely enough that they cannot come to work. These sorts of injuries mean someone must step in for an injured colleague, productivity can be lost and team morale can decrease. There are also financial costs, such as insurance costs. But most importantly, a lost-time injury often brings pain and suffering and inability to function at 100% in one’s personal life.
Additionally, our 2021 total recordable incident rate of 0.88 was 58% lower than our industry’s average rate of 2.1, while our days away, restricted or transferred rate of 0.22 was 85% lower than the industry average of 1.4.
CyrusOne values safety. We want healthy employees who can come to work every day and then return home healthy to their families and friends. A strong safety practice also lowers the risk of business disruption, cuts costs, increases efficiency and aligns with our ESG mission.
But we cannot achieve safety milestones without true partnership with our employees, vendors, general contractors and customers. They all contribute to safety. Partnering with them ensures we reach our goals, and beyond.
At CyrusOne’s Vendor Safety Conference in April, I asked our partners to continue to raise the safety bar within their organizations, perform at the highest level of quality in all areas and continue to communicate by sharing best practices.
I also asked them to keep open the lines of communication and be transparent. My message: Be strong and consistent on safety, make suggestions, keep an open mind, and seek solutions as a team. Don’t be single-minded or tunnel-visioned. Keep a watchful eye out for all activities, and if you see something, say something. Share with us, whether it’s a best practice, update to your policy or just a thought. It may be an innovation we can all benefit for from. Grow with us by building strong relationships, interacting through activities, through onsite job visits, or sometimes just networking. Remember, by nature we are all learners. Growth stops when you think you know everything.
And we want that transparency brought back to us. For example, I recently took a call from one of our construction sites and was told, “We had a really minor first-aid incident. Someone bumped their hand unloading material from a truck. We put some ice on it.” We completed a report, and the employee went back to work. Communicating this event provides an opportunity to document minor events and evaluate proactive actions to prevent reoccurrence.
By working together, we can improve processes, determine benchmarking for best practices, and ensure the safest environment is available for all employees.
Employees often come up with innovative ideas to perform their job tasks easier. Who is better equipped to be the subject matter expert, than the person that does the task every day? While easier doesn’t always equal safer, together we can come up with a better way of doing things while making sure we do not lose the oversight of safety.
Internally, we are still developing organizational maturity in our safety program and always look for good, thorough root-cause analysis to come up with corrective and preventative actions to avoid reoccurring issues. We have focused efforts on proactive and preventative measures while educating staff on best practices. We have personal interactions with safety once a month, including a flyer distributed about “Taking safety home with you.” We’ve put a personal twist on it to get people to embrace safety and see the benefits of wearing ear plugs or other safety gear as something that benefits them personally, so they do it willingly and habitually instead of seeing as something they are forced to do.
Our efforts have already yielded results. We’ve hit the reset button and have not had a lost-time injury since July 2021 – that’s 334 consecutive days (as of May 31, 2022) without one. And now, working with all our partners, we aim to best our previous milestone of 655 consecutive days.