HD Supply implements safety initiatives that are designed to support the objectives of our overarching safety program – Safe by Design. Safe by Design is an internal effort focused on creating a safe environment where all associates are engaged in identifying potential safety concerns and developing practical solutions. In doing so, HD Supply incorporates proactive safety measures into the way we do business and we aim continuously to improve our processes.
HD Supply introduced the Play It Safe program in 2013 to promote a proactive safety culture and to empower our associates to own safety in the workplace. Play It Safe consists of tools, resources, and standardized processes that teach associates to recognize unsafe conditions and behaviors and to take action before an incident occurs. The program includes Play It Safe at Work, Play It Safe on the Road, Play It Safe with the Planet, and Play It Safe at Home.
As part of Play It Safe, associates are encouraged to call a “Play,” or report potentially unsafe acts, conditions, hazards, or near misses in the workplace. When a Play is called by an associate, internal safety teams are responsible for conducting a review and developing an appropriate solution. In doing so, we help make sure safety concerns are brought to light and addressed before an injury occurs. In 2019, HD Supply associates called more than 3,600 safety-related Plays across the company.
The EHS Department regularly promotes awareness campaigns and challenges to share best practices and help keep associates engaged in safety. For example, HD Supply conducts a Play of the Year challenge every December, which encourages associates to submit a safety concern that was reported and successfully resolved that year. As part of the challenge, a winning Play is selected from each business unit. Locations with the best submissions receive an honorary plaque, and the individual who submitted the Play receives an award. Submissions are based on the severity of the hazard, applicability to other locations, and creativity of the solution. The Play of the Year challenge gives associates across our businesses a chance to celebrate safety practices that support and reinforce our commitment to a Clean and Safe Workplace.
As an example, our Construction & Industrial – White Cap team in Colorado Springs, CO, called a Play that identified how storage of a certain product presented a high risk for back injury because it required manual handling from the floor. The branch reconfigured the set-up of the material to allow lift equipment to drive up to the product, eliminating the need for associates to manually handle the heavy and awkward lift.
At HD Supply, we believe strong internal communication is critical to maintaining a successful safety culture. Every HD Supply facility has a safety team to help manage safety performance and ensure frequent communication among associates. These cross-functional teams are made up of associates from different positions such as warehouse associates, sales associates, fabrication associates, and drivers. All safety teams are led by a designated safety captain.
To support multiple lines of communication, the safety teams conduct brief, weekly safety huddles with associates, as well as longer monthly safety meetings to discuss relevant health and safety topics. The safety teams also play an important role in teaching associates to recognize hazards in the workplace and in implementing permanent, practical solutions to reported hazards that can be shared across the company. Additionally, the safety teams are responsible for conducting thorough and regular safety inspections to promote safe facilities.
The safety teams also use Safe by Design, a monthly safety newsletter, as a tool to communicate important safety messages, including training announcements, compliance-related requirements, and best practices for preventing incidents. Each month, copies of Safe by Design are available on our internal HD Supply EHS website, as well as on communication boards and in break rooms.
Through our safety training programs, we encourage our associates to adopt work-related and personal practices that will prevent injuries and enhance their quality of life. The EHS Department supports the development and assignment of core health and safety training courses that apply to associates across the businesses.
Our EHS courses are interactive e-Learning modules, designed to ensure regulatory compliance and prevent associated injuries. Core EHS training classes are assigned to new associates upon hire. Refresher training is assigned based on regulatory requirements, geographic location, and job function.
Our EHS Department also partners with our business leaders to assist in customizing core training for the business operations or in developing new training to address business-specific EHS concerns. In total, HD Supply has approximately 35 core EHS courses and 33 business unit-specific EHS courses. In 2019, both the core and business unit courses achieved a 99 percent completion rate. HD Supply associates completed 27,241 hours of health and safety training in 2019.
HD Supply is committed to maintaining safe conditions at all of its locations. This commitment to safety is founded on the view that no accident is acceptable and every accident is preventable. HD Supply expects its contractors to share this commitment to safety excellence. We have established EHS requirements for contractors performing work at HD Supply locations or on HD Supply’s behalf. These requirements are put in place to minimize or to eliminate the potential for injuries to contractors, HD Supply associates, and visitors to HD Supply locations.
HD Supply is committed to continuously improving our health and safety performance. We have standard procedures in place to review incidents, even those that did not result in injuries, to identify improvement opportunities. Our goal is to identify the factors that contribute to safety issues and to enhance our work practices accordingly to help prevent future occurrences. At HD Supply, we track our total recordable case rate and lost-time incident rate as a way to evaluate our safety performance.