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Frontiers August 2013 Issue

Conner: We strive for a perfect safety record for our customers, so why wouldn’t we do the same for our own team? Many of our Commercial Airplanes employees are leading the way. Propulsion Systems has logged 2 million work hours over the course of more than a year without a single injury. Propulsion’s Renton value stream team has nine years without a lost-time work injury. What assurances can you give that safety really is more important than meeting production schedules? Conner: No one gains anything from compromising safety standards and cutting corners. I can tell you that a safety incident would cause far more disruption for production schedules than making it a priority in the first place. We have safety policies and procedures to protect our entire team. Just like we follow rigorous product quality and safety standards—we need to take them seriously and take care of each other and ourselves. Safety, quality and performance go hand in hand. More important, accidents take a toll in human suffering that I won’t accept. What makes Go for Zero different from how safety has been treated in the past? Muilenburg: Go for Zero is not just some initiative or campaign; rather, it is about changing the culture in the business. It builds on some of the work that we’ve done in the past. But it’s also about taking ownership of our safety culture, embedding it in how we do business every day, and making it personal so we’re all accountable for our own safety and the safety of our co-workers around us. This is really an important part of how we want to change the culture of the company. What can teammates do to increase their ability to work safely together? Conner: I can’t stress enough how important it is to make a conscious effort to look out for one another. Everyone expects to come to work and do their normal day-to-day jobs, but I believe predictability lulls us into a false sense of security. A common thread I’ve noticed among zero-injury teams is they purposely stay alert. They don’t become too comfortable. It’s a daily effort, and a culture they foster within their teams. When new employees join the team, they learn from the existing culture, which creates a powerful impact that’s carried by these employees throughout their career. What’s the most important thing managers can do to drive a culture in which workplace safety is paramount? Conner: We all want to keep our families safe, and that’s how we have to think about our teammates—like they’re family. We want them to go home safely at the end of the day, just like your family wants you to come home safely. It’s about accountability to each other as human beings. Managers need to ensure that safety is purposefully considered in everything we do as employees of Boeing. What is the one thing you want employees or management to change related to workplace safety? Muilenburg: Make it personal every day. Keeping people safe is not a metric or a number on a schedule; it’s the health or life of a friend, a mom or dad, a brother or sister, and it’s precious. n BEOING FRNOT IERS / AUGUST 2013 17 “N o one gains anything from compromising safety standards and cutting corners ... More important, accidents take a toll in human suffering that I won’t accept.” – Ray Conner, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO PHOTO: Dennis Muilenburg, left, and Ray Conner shake hands after signing the Boeing Safety Promise. Ron bookout/BOEING


Frontiers August 2013 Issue
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