Kokosing Materials, Inc. (KMI) has been in the asphalt production business since 1980 and today operates 17 asphalt plants and two asphalt cement terminals throughout the state of Ohio. Given the operational risks of asphalt plants, the company places a high emphasis on all aspects of team members’ wellbeing – including physical, psychological and emotional health.
This has led to KMI adopting a holistic, human-centered approach to safety and team member engagement, where managers travel to each asphalt plant regularly – not to just conduct routine check-ins – but to speak and foster relationships with their people.
One of the managers’ goals at KMI is to build trust with every team member, prioritizing conversations beyond the job at hand. They aim to get to know one another, their interests, what is going well in their lives or even what they may be struggling with outside of work.
Over time, this environment has helped team members feel more comfortable discussing at-work safety matters, such as if outside factors may be leading to more on-the-job at-risk behavior for themselves or their peers.
Identifying and mitigating these at-risk behaviors is a key aspect of the company’s safety program, as it is a leading cause of incidents for industrial organizations. Specifically, a Behavioral Science Technology study found that 80-95% of all workplace accidents are caused by unsafe behavior.
To help further encourage these open and transparent discussions, the KMI team encourages team members to report and discuss at-risk behaviors and near hits no matter how big or small.
Encouraging Information Sharing Among Workforces
In addition to site visits, KMI also developed a reporting system for when managers aren’t present at a plant, which complements the company’s connected safety technology. This 24-hour hotline enables team members to report at-risk behaviors and near hits in a timely manner.
Once reported, a safety alert is created and shared with all team members, sharing a description of the at-risk behavior or near hit incident, the potential injury or impact, and what needs to be done to work injury and incident free.
One Incident is Too Many
KMI’s goal is to achieve zero at-risk behaviors by 2025. The company is off to a great start, as in over four years, KMI’s workforce of 142 team members has worked more than one-million man hours without an OSHA recordable incident.
“Similar to how you watch over your loved ones to ensure they are in good spirits and living healthy and safe lives, we’ve adopted the same mentality with our people. We are all friends and family, so building trust and having meaningful conversations with one another helps us identify at-risk behaviors and keep each other safe.”
- Michael Farnsworth, Safety Manager, Kokosing Materials, Inc.
BLACKLINE SAFETY SOLUTION
Kokosing Materials, Inc. incorporated Blackline Safety’s G7c gas detection solutions into its operations. Learn more about the G7c and its capabilities.