How Royal DSM improved shop floor reporting

Applying digital transformation to EHS with the rapid deployment of mobile safety applications


Royal DSM




Nutrition, Health, & Sustainable Living





With more than 23,000 employees worldwide, DSM is a global leader in Nutrition, Health, and Sustainable Living. While producing a myriad of innovative products, Royal DSM's EHS team works daily to create the safest work environment possible for its employees.

Since 2018, DSM has trusted the SafetyAmp platform to enable their Safety, Health, and Environmental (SHE) staff to digitally transform its safety recordkeeping activities.

Initially, DSM was searching for a means to alleviate the time consuming tasks associated with gathering critical frontline safety data and generating issue and trend reporting. Most reports were paper-based, and had to be manually entered into Excel sheets - if they even made it to the correct desk.

A solution was needed that enabled any employee to identify hazards, report near misses or observations, and complete other site related safety tasks without any additional data entry required for reports to be generated.

"Once we had things digital, we no longer had to replace printed forms anywhere. I could easily see, in a moment, who had completed their scheduled activities, and totals for the site. [...]

You could look at the data of records turned in at whatever frequency we wanted, to see that our site maybe doesn't have a problem with fatigue, but is seeing an uptick in complacency - or that maybe we need to focus on line of fire issues.

Now I can direct my efforts to focus attention on where it is needed the most.", says Christopher Urban of DSM's Freeport, TX location.

"Now I can direct my efforts to focus attention on where it is needed the most."

Chris says that among these first use cases for the SafetyAmp product, digitizing near misses and observations made the biggest difference in overall safety performance, while visitor safety orientations were the single largest cost saver.

Most DSM sites already had a program to report hazardous conditions and submit observations but engagement was low in terms of frequency of near miss submissions and observations. Chris explained that during their next SHE day (where they shut down the plant and focus on safety for a full day), they rolled out SafetyAmp to the site for a hazard hunting activity. Chris says, "In that first day, we received more than 100 actionable reports. Going from four reports in a month to over 100 in a day was an immense value-add to the overall safety performance of the site."

Chris explained that as of now, most of their sites have digitized their near miss reporting and observation processes. With hundreds more reports on average, it is much easier to identify trends and focus areas to prioritize and direct risk reduction efforts.

After the initial launch of SafetyAmp, DSM turned their attention to alleviating as much additional administrative burden as possible from reviewing certain safety activities taking place in the platform.

Chris discussed with us how he used the Automation Engine to create automatic e-mails that trigger to the right people when events occur in SafetyAmp, like when a user submits a near miss report. "Based on the data submitted in the report, we may automatically close it - but based on conditional rules that we put in place the record could get directed to our safety committee, a department head, or other designated staff who need to see the data or take further action", explained Chris. "Next thing you know, we're issuing new projects, capex in some cases, to change designs of the plant and it has sincerely paid off in terms of cost and risk avoidance." Chris also discusses how the safety culture has changed in the plant, with staff members recognizing positively the changes made as a result of the hazard recognition activities they're performing.

"It was like multiplying the effectiveness of our prior success. We had much more insight into the actual hazards and risks as well as the overall culture."

When the results were in, DSM continued to experiment with their proactive safety recordkeeping activities. One such change, was to setup a dedicated safety app in their platform for the recognition of other employees, and to remove this function from the existing near miss / observation report. Mr. Urban says this improved the quality and number of submissions for each kind of activity. "It was like multiplying the effectiveness of our prior success. We had much more insight into the actual hazards and risks as well as the overall culture. At the end of the day we're not just looking for positive observations, we need to hear negative observations and other risk  as well", he explained.

Deploying existing or new safety apps to locations that may or may not have an existing process has helped DSM be able to extend and share best practices from one location to another across regions.

"Without SafetyAmp, I don't think we could maintain the participation, engagement, quality, or actions we've been able to accomplish."

Outside of proactive safety reporting, DSM is also taking advantage of auditing and inspections on the platform, especially with regard to scanning QR codes on a physical asset to access checklists and inspections. Chris noted significant cost savings after some locations began pre-qualifying visitors and contractors with site safety orientation processes rather than relying on third parties or onsite training.

"Having everything integrated and connected in one system is more effective and powerful than relying on individual point solutions."

“With SafetyAmp our speed, agility, and collaboration have seen major improvements. SafetyAmp is one of the more powerful tools in our belt to drive real, organic employee participation.”

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