APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

The Eyes Have It

Hawaii — Hazardous materials, heavy equipment and cramped working conditions are a way of life for the employees of Pacific Shipyards International’s NAVSEA Inactive Ships On-Site Maintenance Office (NISMO) Division. The implementation of a safety program nicknamed “An Extra Pair of Eyes” has helped employees at the marine industrial maintenance contractor face these challenges and achieve a perfect safety record.

The safety program utilizes statistical information, detailed task analysis and basic behavioral science concepts to develop safety protocols and run simulations before employees attempt a task. New staff members are paired with more experienced workers, and thorough training and mentoring facilitate the learning of, and adherence to, safety protocols.

Because safety is NISMO’s primary concern, work teams always include an extra person whose sole responsibility is to monitor safety — the extra pair of eyes. This supervision is provided as an assistive device to protect NISMO employees rather than as a means of monitoring performance and ensuring production. The presence of a co-worker looking out for a colleague’s well-being adds a level of emotional safety as well, reinforcing the value NISMO places on its employees.

With the program now more than five years old, NISMO employees have accumulated more than 750,000 work hours without a lost-time accident. Absenteeism has also decreased, while profits have soared. This visionary program is keeping the organization and its employees focused on the benefits of workplace safety.

"Receiving the National Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award is truly a confirmation of the many programs and services we have implemented over the years to address job-related satisfaction for our employees. We're very honored to receive this recognition."

Mark Richardson
President and CEO
Great River Health Systems