Jeff Olsson and Al Wolfram lead the corporate Behavior Based Safety project for Manitoba Hydro. Manitoba Hydro, headquartered in Winnipeg, is one of the largest energy providers in Canada with over 650,000 customers and more than a billion dollars in annual revenue. It had been rated one of the top five safest of Canada's many utilities for twenty years. As a result of a corporate assessment in 1998, Manitoba Hydro committed itself to helping employees improve their own individual safety behaviors through a Behavioral Safety process (one of three initiatives). Jeff took part in an investigation of the behavioral approach that involved visiting and talking to other utilities in North America who were using Behavioral Safety successfully, attending seminars, and interviewing providers of Behavioral Safety services. With this systematic and thorough beginning, their Behavioral Safety project got off to great start.
Jeff and Al now lead the million-dollar project for the entire corporation of approximately 5,300 employees. In addition to handling all of the administrative and management aspects of their roles, they excel in maintaining commitment and enthusiasm for the new initiative through frequent presentations to groups throughout the company. They have a team of BBS facilitators in whom they have helped to instill a sense of excitement about the project. Jeff “engineers” positive reinforcement for his staff from senior officials by asking managers who comment positively on the project to compliment the staff personally.
Jeff and Al are dedicated to learning all they can about the scientific principles underlying the behavioral approach and to designing and implementing the very best process possible. They exemplify the positive nature of the Behavioral Safety approach – they always look for solutions rather than problems and they seek out opportunities to recognize contributors and supporters of the project at every opportunity.
BBS is just getting started at Manitoba Hydro but we predict great results with Jeff and Al at the helm – look for them to present their experience and success at a Behavioral Safety Now Conference in the near future!