In 2006 the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies awarded the Acetate Fibers Division of Eastman Chemical Company a second 3-year period of Accreditation for its behavioral safety program. In 2003 the Acetate Fibers Division of Eastman Chemical Company behavioral safety program was first reviewed by the Cambridge Center, and in 2004 received the Center’s Principles of Behavior Based Safety Accreditation Award. The Accreditation award represents the highest standards of behavior-based safety performance.

The Acetate Fibers Division (AFD) is a manufacturing division of Eastman Chemical Company located at the Kingsport, TN site. The division employs 750 people with 650 employees directly involved in the manufacturing and maintenance operations. The main products produced in AFD are fiber grade cellulose acetate, acetate tow, and acetate yarn.

“We are proud that the first Accreditation Award was earned by a company that demonstrated exemplary national performance in its behavioral safety programs,” Dwight Harshbarger, executive director of the Cambridge Center said. “The Acetate Fibers Division’s multi-year success in the use of behavioral technology to reduce workplace injuries and successfully sustain those reductions is outstanding.”

“The accreditation of our behavior-based safety (BBS) system by the Cambridge Center validates that AFD has world-class safety performance and world-class safety systems,” said Lee McConnell, superintendent of Acetate Fibers Division. “We believe that all accidents can be prevented and while we’ve made great strides in reducing accidents, we have more work to do to achieve our goal of having no accidents.”

Employees in the Acetate Fibers Division have driven the success of its safety program, McConnell said. By conducting observations within their work areas and working together to analyze the data, they developed action plans targeting improvements in safe practices.

AFD began implementing behavioral based safety processes in 1992 when OSHA-R rates were > 8.0. At that time the division’s injury rate was above the rates of all divisions of Eastman Chemical and above the chemical industry as a whole. In subsequent years, numerous improvements to the original BBS process have been implemented yielding OSHA-R rates for the last 5 years consistently below 0.8, leading the Eastman organization and among the leaders in the chemical industry. During this 5 year period, workplace observations of and feedback on safe behavior, identification of hazards and risks, as well as innovative approaches to removing those hazards and risks, have increased. The dividends to employees and the company have been significant. At the end of the day, employees go home safe.

More information on The Cambridge Center for Behavior Studies and the Principles of Behavior Based Safety Accreditation Award can be found at www.behavior.org.

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