Safety From Every Angle
Raytheon employees are trained to create a safer environment
Building a 20-foot-high radar or other large-scale product requires precautions. Railings must be in the right place to protect operators from falling. Also, workers must know how to safely move equipment from point A to point B.
That's why we bring in engineers, inspectors and operators to review product designs through lifelike simulations that use immersive CAVE2® technology to help resolve safety concerns. The CAVE2 design center in Andover, Massachusetts, employs a wall of 72 stacked, ultrahigh-definition television sets arrayed in a 320-degree arc, with hyperrealistic 3-D technology that makes objects and avatars appear to float in midair.
Everyone involved can more clearly see how products like the radar tower will be assembled and at what height the work will take place so that they can flag potential issues early. Simulating each step helps us refine our designs, eliminate risks for Raytheon teams and protect what matters most: our people.
"It's changing our whole design process and the way Raytheon does business," says Sarah Clarke, engineering operations lead in Raytheon's Immersive Design Center Operations. "You get a real sense of being present in the environment."
It's changing our whole design process and the way Raytheon does business. You get a real sense of being present in the environment.
— Sarah Clarke,
Engineering operations lead,
Raytheon's Immersive Design Center Operations
Our attention to safety goes well beyond CAVE2. We also provide in-depth training for all employees and encourage them to spearhead new approaches, such as our Total Employee Engagement Program in Indianapolis. In TEEP, front-line workers collaborate with management in creating their own safe workspace. We implemented over 2,100 safety ideas from these workers last year — and TEEP won a National Innovation Award from the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association.
Part of creating better working conditions for employees is learning lessons from inspections done by federal, state and local regulatory agencies — and sharing them across Raytheon. Our efforts are making a difference. Out of 105 inspections conducted in 2015, only five notices of violation were issued — all related to minor environmental issues.
Employees who feel safe can focus on their jobs and work more efficiently, which means better products for our customers, lower operating costs and a more competitive business. What's more, 2015 was our safest year ever.
"Raytheon does a great job weaving the message about safety into the fabric of what we do," says Clarke. "Recently there's been a focus to make it more personal, and people really appreciate and remember it."
Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business released a video featuring Clarke to raise awareness and motivate people to embrace a safety mindset at work and at home. The video starts with Clarke describing her great-grandfather's traumatic workplace injury in which he lost all 10 fingers, an accident that led to her father's career in the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and ultimately to Clarke becoming a safety advocate for us.
"Growing up, there were countless times when my dad would point out a situation that needed more precautions," says Clarke. "And at Raytheon, we are constantly searching for ways to improve."
One of our future-focused ideas is what Clarke calls realistic "Call of Duty"-style training for service members. Technology can help make combat situations as realistic as possible so trainees can focus on what they're learning.
"The more we can take any guesswork out of whatever an operator or service member is doing," she says, "the safer they're going to be."