At Cascade Environmental, one of our primary goals is to foster a culture of safety. We do this by emphasizing a behavior-based safety program known as the Cascade Card.
What is a Cascade Card?
The Cascade Card is one of the strongest programs we have at Cascade Environmental. In a nutshell, the Cascade Card is a hazard recognition program that we’ve developed internally. It enables field crews to actively report and mitigate safety hazards they observe while they’re performing various sonic drilling and remediation tasks, or driving to and from job sites.
This program gives our teammates a real-time means of reporting a hazard. It enables individuals to take a moment and assess the situation, implement a corrective action, and then proceed to complete the task safely.
How Do I Access the Cascade Card?
We’re glad you asked! After all, we feel that the success we’ve seen with the Cascade Card program is due in large part to its accessibility. The Cards are accessible to both clients and employees, and you can use it on a phone, a tablet, a computer, or even with a pen and paper submission. Most workers use the App that they download to their smartphones, or they access it right on our website!
Does it Really Help Mitigate Safety Hazards?
Absolutely! The foremost benefits of the Card program are raising awareness of hazards and empowering people to correct it before an incident happens. The cards enable Cascade to track and trend safety hazards. We’re constantly tracking, benchmarking, and evaluating data in order to see what we’re doing well, and where we can improve.
When a worker pulls up the app on their phone, there are many data entry points, including:
- What unsafe act or condition did you observe? *
- What did you do to intervene or correct it? *
- Select a root cause & category that best describes it *
- How soon after observing the unsafe act or condition did you intervene and/or correct it?
- Employee Name (type your full name) *
This helps Cascade achieve a comprehensive understanding of the issue and ways to mitigate it going forward. Cascade Card’s are designed for our customers as well. If a client observes a hazard in the field, they can report on it with their name and their company, so that we’re in the know.
Cascade’s Culture of Safety is Based on the Ability to Assess and Mitigate Risks as a Skill
Over time, with the utilization of the Cascade Card program in concert with all the other programs we have here at Cascade, our employees develop skills as expert risk assessors. In turn, they learn to effectively mitigate hazards in the field and implement the correct solutions so that they can proceed safely with the task at hand.
Cascade Cards are a little different than traditional behavior-based programs. In the past, many behavior-based programs focused only on the positive aspects of a jobsite. But, when you only focus on the positives, you miss the opportunity to gauge the observing individual’s ability to identify and control risk. Afterall, the ability to identify and control risk is most certainly a skill, but more than that, it’s a necessity in our industry.
The Cascade Card Is Really a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of a Safety Program
Not only do we use Cascade Cards to gauge an individual's ability to identify risk, we also use that information to measure and trend what we’re seeing in the field, and how to abate and/or control that. We use that information in our training sessions and also as a day-today training mechanism for those who haven’t yet developed these skills.
There is a misconception that jobsite safety is about common sense, but that’s not necessarily true. If you just relied on individuals’ common sense to assess and mitigate hazards and risks, you’d quickly find yourself filling out more and more incident reports. But, the Cascade Card enables us to both report on and mitigate safety hazards, while also training new or underperforming team members.
The Benefits We’ve Seen Since Implementing the Cascade Card
Speaking of Incident Reports, we’ve seen a dramatic drop in the number of incident reports that we’ve had to file. In fact as of May 2017, we’re 5 months into the year and we’ve yet to have a serious injury, which is a personal record for the history of Cascade. It’s not luck or happenstance, we can actually quantify our incident performance and tie it in part to our Cascade Card program.
Overall, our employees and clients submit over 34,000 Cascade Cards a year. We’re able to track that into hard dollar savings - just under half a million dollars in savings each year.
Ultimately, the Cascade Card aides us as a training mechanism, a performance measurement tool, and a Hazard observation and control mechanism. Afterall, that’s what building a safety culture is all about: tying all of the elements of safety, job performance, and reporting into your daily routine.