DuPont and WHS

DupontDuPont is a poster child internationally for its focus on workplace safety. The Delaware headquartered company has operations around the world marketing a vast array of products and services.

It is so passionate about safety that it has built a world best practice safety services capability. Now DuPont safety experts consult to companies around the globe.

Recently Midwest Generation, an independent power producer that is part of California-based Edison International, was facing an increase in the severity of injuries, including fatalities, at its coal-fired plants.

The company asked DuPont for help with its safety culture. Like other organizations with well-developed safety processes, DuPont knows that the way to worker protection is to change the way people think and what they believe about safety.

During a 3-year engagement, DuPont specialists helped the Midwest Generation identify gaps in its safety process. Among actions identified to help fill the gaps:

  • Make safety at least as important as production and quality;
  • Gather greater input from stations and include it in the process for setting goals and defining action plans;
  • Expand safety leadership by involving all levels of employees and management;
  • Identify, analyse, and safeguard all, not just some potential safety hazards;
  • Create a comprehensive auditing system;
  • Eliminate the potential to hide injuries; and
  • Require everyone at each site to comply with a consistent set of policies and regulations.

After implementing the actions suggested by DuPont, Midwest Generation reduced its incidence rate by 73% and its days away, restrictions, and transfers (known as DART) rate by 68%, and its lost work day case rate by 72%.

DuPont has adopted a definition of “safety culture” that was first described by a British Health and Safety Commission in 1993:

“The safety culture of an organization is the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behavior that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of an organization’s health and safety management.”

Simply put, says DuPont, “it defines what people do when no one is watching”.


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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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