Behavior Based Safety
In 2015, MoDOT began researching Behavior Based Safety (BBS). By comparing the Behavior Based Safety process with our current safety practices, several areas for improvement were identified. Behavior Based Safety has enhanced MoDOT’s safety culture.
BBS is an observation and feedback process that addresses both behavior and people factors to improve the safety culture. Simply put, a culture of behavior-based safety will prevent workplace incidents, injuries and fatalities before they occur.
BBS is designed to work with MoDOT’s current safety practices to help employees identify unsafe behaviors in their workplace. Through identification of at-risk behaviors, supervisors can take the necessary steps to discuss, strategize and correct the root causes with their employees.
Getting employees involved generates acceptance as people support what they help create. Proactive measures such as Behavior Based Safety Observations and “Good Catches” are positive rather than punitive programs. Safety happens before an incident and this measure gives employees the goal of elimination before mitigation. Conversely, learning from mistakes is vital to a safety program. Near–miss reporting is another piece of the puzzle that allows the department to continue the vision of zero injuries. Comparing first quarter 2019 to first quarter 2020, the department experienced a 52% increase in employee participation in observations, near-miss and Good Catch reporting.
Full implementation of the BBS program is estimated to be $900,000. Workplace injuries and worker’s compensation costs MoDOT approximately $6 million each year. But the program is not all about saving money. MoDOT wants every employee to go home safely at the end of each workday. Through the implementation of BBS, MoDOT hopes to reduce workplace incidents and achieve a total safety culture.
Educating Motorists to Buckle Up in Missouri
Seatbelt usage in Missouri this year continues to be a challenge. A recent survey revealed that 86.1% of Missouri motorists are buckling up, down from the previous year’s record high of 87.7%.
“We’ve seen a 4.7% increase in seat belt usage in the past four years, but we’ve still got our work cut out for us” said Nicole Hood, state highway safety and traffic engineer. “We’ve increased educational efforts through the Buckle Up Phone Down program statewide and have surpassed 13,000 participants in the BUPD challenge.”
The Buckle Up Phone Down program won the 2020 AASHTO President’s Transportation Award: Highway Traffic Safety for its innovation in conveying the life-saving message of bucking seat belts and putting phones down when driving.
KEEPING ALL TRAVELERS SAFE
$1.4 Billion in Safety Benefits, 120 Lives Saved$1.4 Billion in Safety Benefits, 120 Lives Saved
The Smooth Roads Initiative and Better Roads, Brighter Future programs were back-to-back efforts that improved 5,600 miles of highways. Completed earlier than scheduled, the efforts delivered smoother pavement, brighter striping, rumble stripes and other safety improvements to the highways that carry 80% of Missouri’s traffic. These improvements have resulted in more than $1.4 billion of safety benefits to customers since 2007.
$6.0 Billion in Total Customer Savings, 553 Lives SavedIn the spirit of improving safety on every Missouri road, MoDOT has provided treatments
on roadways to address “run-off-the-road” crashes. By installing thousands of miles of shoulders and rumble strips on rural highways, MoDOT has reduced severe crashes by 30%. Guard cable is used on portions of interstates and other major routes, drastically reducing the number of median crossover crashes, which are often fatal. Also, high-grip surface treatments have achieved a 20% reduction in run-off-the-road crashes and help hold vehicles in the driving lanes. Electronic truck screening allows prequalified trucks to safely bypass weigh stations.
$640 Million in Total Savings, 75 Lives SavedThe Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), first used in Springfield, Mo., in 2009, solves major
traffic and safety issues at a much lower cost than traditional interchange designs. Missouri now has 25 DDIs. Many other states have followed suit, with at least one DDI of their own. J-Turns are a cost-effective alternative to an overpass on four-lane highways and reduce the number and severity of crashes. At locations where J-Turns are installed, crashes are down 25% and there are 88% fewer fatalities. Missouri also uses shared four-lane highways that feature alternating passing lanes to give motorists periodic opportunities to pass without pulling into the opposing lane.
The Geotab telematics system combines on-board vehicle diagnostics and GPS tracking to gather data about vehicles in the MoDOT fleet. It also saves vehicle operators time manually logging ending hours and mileage meter readings. This single, shared-view system will: monitor and reduce fuel use through route management; decrease maintenance cost with improved engine diagnostics; improve safety by monitoring speed, seat belt use, backing up, braking and more; and integrate with the Maintenance Management System. Last year during one snow storm, a pilot telematics program demonstrated to legislators, the media and the traveling public the response of our workforce.