Cheyenne, Wyoming Refinery Joins USW’s Triangle of Prevention Program to Improve Safety through Employee Involvement

Like many companies, HollyFrontier in Cheyenne, Wyo., used behavioral safety programs to address health and safety conditions at its plant.

Such programs focus on worker behavior. If an incident occurs, the worker is blamed for causing it. HollyFrontier used Behavioral Science Technology (BST).

The USW encourages replacement of behavior-based approaches with programs that focus instead on identifying and fixing hazardous conditions.

Using BST did not seem to improve HollyFrontier’s safety record, so three years ago the company started looking for a new safety and health program, said Local 11-574 member Nathan Smith.

Getting a Commitment

Smith said that when Local 11-574 suggested TOP to local HollyFrontier plant management, the company did not want to look at the program. The plant manager had worked at another facility that had TOP, but he was unsure if he wanted the program at the Cheyenne refinery.

“Our safety record was poor. When the guys in Dallas (HollyFrontier corporate headquarters) said to Cheyenne management: ‘You guys need to get a program in there,’ local management started looking at TOP,” Smith said.

“It took one-and-a-half years of talking about TOP and pushing for it before we finally got it in here,” he added.

TOP Rollout at HollyFrontier

TOP will be rolled out at the Cheyenne refinery the last two weeks of this month. During the week of Aug. 20, union leadership and management will learn the details of the program.  TOP will be rolled out to the entire plant the week of Aug. 27. 

Steve Doherty and Linda Cook from the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center (TMC) will conduct the training. Doherty is the TMC program administrator and Cook is the TMC training coordinator.

Smith, who used to be chairman of the workmen’s committee and who is now on the negotiating committee, said he likes how TOP gets down to the root cause of near misses and incidents.

“If we can do away with the root causes we have, one-by-one, we think it will help our safety record tremendously,” he said.

Smith also likes how TOP helps the local keep the company accountable for providing a safe workplace and maintaining a full staff.

“You can blame a worker for anything, but when it comes down to it, you have to have a safe place to work and management provides that for you.”

Pictured: Photos from a previous TOP rollout.

Press Inquiries

Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Wayne Ranick at 412-562-2444

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

Mailing Address

United Steelworkers
Communications Department
60 Blvd. of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222