Silver Dollar City Implements Virtual Safety Manager

Silver Dollar City Implements Virtual Safety Manager

Synopsis:

To address OSHA’s annual training requirements and move to an electronic recordkeeping system, Silver Dollar City has implemented IBT’s Virtual Safety Manager (VSM) at their theme park in the Ozark Mountains of Branson MO. Essentially a city on its own, the Maintenance and Construction department manages crews of ride mechanics, utilities personnel, house and grounds teams, landscape teams as well as welding, machine, paint, and fiberglass shops that service the 55-acres of rides and attractions, stage venues, restaurants and shops.

Background:

Silver Dollar City’s OSHA Compliance Officer Hank Bolt Jr. organized classroom-based training sessions for annual basic training as well as hazard training for the crews which are exposed to various conditions and materials in maintaining the park. With nearly 145 Maintenance and Construction department employees spread out over various shifts, scheduling sessions and taking workers away from their duties for classroom training at the same time presented a dilemma.

Challenge:

Bolt’s main challenge in managing Silver Dollar City’s compliance program was the manner in which they were delivering training. “We’re not a Monday through Friday 9 to 5 operation. A theme park is a unique work environment.” The inconvenience of coordinating training for all employees in each of the department’s groups led Bolt to consider an alternative. “You can’t take all the utilities employees out of their slot and put them in training” Bolt said.

Solution:

Bolt discovered VSM during a visit with his IBT Sales Representative, Randy Smith. He began researching the program and explored customization options with Tom Smith, Director of Consulting and Training, and Gary Porter, Safety and Warehouse Equipment Business Group Director. After that, Bolt felt assured that VSM would be a good fit for Silver Dollar City to build on business with a long time supplier. IBT has supplied maintenance materials and parts to the park for over 35 years.

Implementation and user training began in the late fall of 2009. Bolt can now create site-specific safety manuals, conduct safety knowledge assessments online, determine employee training needs, and track training schedules. Of the nearly 145 year round and seasonal maintenance personnel, only 20 to 30 employees have yet to complete the training. They will take the training upon their return to the park in March.

Bolt says he expects to see a greater awareness of safety behavior after implementing VSM and establishing a more continuous safety initiative. With online recordkeeping, reporting, Industrial Hygiene documentation, and safety resources, VSM is supporting that goal.

“When you buy VSM, you get a whole lot more than just the web-based compliance tool. Men and women who are taking the VSM training are actually saying, hey I have a question about this and if I can’t answer it, I call Tom Smith. The turnaround is exceptional.”

Results:

Moving to an electronic system not only simplified recordkeeping, it also made managing training across all the groups and various shifts in the Maintenance and Construction departments consistent and uniform. Everyone gets the same training in the same manner, only it’s done at the Maintenance and Construction department’s convenience. At any given time, Bolt knows who is due for training, who has completed their requirements, and who has yet to do so.

The ease of navigation through VSM is a major benefit to Bolt also. “It leverages my time so I can do other tasks as well. I can get more done with VSM.” The electronic recordkeeping is proving itself indispensable to him. “With a couple of keystrokes, I can create a report versus a couple of hours of collecting files,” Bolt says.

Bolt credits VSM’s flexibility of customization options and the customer support from IBT with the positive start they have experienced. “They’re all really interested in making it work for us. It’s not just we buy the subscription and then we’re left up to our own devices. The support is incredible.”

Contact Tom Smith, Director of Safety Consulting and Training, for more information about Virtual Safety Manager and how a web-based comprehensive OSHA compliance service might work for your facility.

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