Karin Stamy, system director safety, described it as the “peer-to-peer duet booth.” Chad Edwards, manager fire and life safety, dubbed it “safety karaoke.” Whatever you called it, the Safety and Environmental Department’s musical booth helped liven up the Safety and Service Expo.
Being a good railroader doesn’t mean that you can carry a tune (and there was ample evidence), but singing ability was not the point here. Instead, the booth’s purpose was to promote the Operation Division’s “Care to Speak Up and Share” initiative. The initiative, which encourages more peer-to-peer conversations among co-workers about workplace safety and service, is part of the railroad’s ongoing implementation of behavior-based safety leadership principles.
“The point is to get two people up to sing together to reflect and model that peer-to-peer interaction we’re looking to build on,” Stamy said, raising her voice as two male employees standing nearby on the booth’s stage tried gamely to harmonize to “Honey Bee,” a tune by country singer Blake Shelton.
“Last year, operations employees received training in the basics of behavior-based safety and positive reinforcement,” Stamy explained. “What we’re trying to do now with this peer-to-peer element is to get everyone to use those principles. That means speaking up when they see a co-worker doing something the safe way, and it also means speaking up when they see someone doing something that’s at-risk. We want to get employees engaged with each other over things that matter, with safety being the main one for us.”
Stamy said the booth was the brainchild of Pam Blakeney, system safety coordinator, who co-chaired the committee that developed the “Care to Share” message.
The bottom line: “If employees have enough courage to get up and sing together,” Stamy said, “they surely have enough courage to talk safety with each other.”