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Machine Safety: Is your safety culture a top-down approach?

Safety culture is key to “best-in-class” performance. Engaging machine safety at the executive level daily permeates an entire organization. Are you seeing top-down benefits?

February 25, 2014


 

Your company's safety culture is key to "best-in-class" performance. A daily walk of engagement of machine safety at the executive level permeates an entire organization. Is yours a top-down approach? See a PepsiCo example and a self-guided tool related to safety culture. Leadership 101 teaches students to set visions and but to also participate in setting the course and manage progress. In my mind, this is what separates the “best-in-class” performers from either medium or laggard performers.

Rockwell Automation Safety Maturity Index software helps companies understand current level of safety performance and the steps needed to improve safety and profitability. Click on image to learn more; see more details. Courtesy: Rockwell AutomationAt ACS 2013 Rockwell Automation announced its newly developed “Safety Maturity Index Tool.” This is a great self-guided tool that anyone can access on the Internet at no charge. It’s designed to help manufacturers measure their safety culture, compliance, and capital levels while receiving recommendations for achieving best-in-class safety performance. This tool offers the possibility to fill a void in thought leadership for moving an organization toward productivity improvement, safety improvement and best-in-class safety performance.

Harmonized safety at PepsiCo

In addition, I would offer that having a top-down safety culture already in place is a huge advantage for achieving best-in-class safety performance. However, few companies actually have top-down safety cultures. Perhaps looking at an example company like PepsiCo will help set the stage. Craig Torrance, global director of health, safety and well being, recently spoke at EHS Today’s 2013 America’s Safest Companies conference. He talked about devoting one full year to travel the globe speaking to every executive and laying out a concise harmonized message about safety as a core element of the company’s global leadership team. His efforts to create PepsiCo’s top-down approach are culminated by Indra Nooya, PepsiCo chairman and global CEO, telling 300,000 workers at 7,000 global sites that “health and safety aren't just abstract ideas we talk about – they are central to what we at PepsiCo are all about.” In my words, consistent leadership in a company is crucial at every level and when all speak with one voice – voila, you have a top-down approach!

Craig Torrance states his simple outrageous rule – “If you can’t afford to do it safely, you can’t afford to do it.” 

Has this presented you with any new perspectives? Do you have some specific topic or interest that we could cover in future blog posts? Add your comments or thoughts to the discussion by submitting your ideas, experiences, and challenges in the comments section below.

Related articles:

Safety Maturity Index (SMI), by Rockwell Automation (linked above)

ASSE - Professional Safety Journal- Near-Miss Reporting, May 2013

OSHA – search for near miss

Contact: www.jbtitus.com for “Solutions for Machine Safety.”



For more than 30 years, J.B. Titus has advised a wide range of clients on machine functional safety solutions, including Johnson & Johnson, Siemens, General Motors, Disney, Rockwell Automation, Bridgestone Firestone, and Samsung Heavy Industries. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma University in industrial management and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in marketing and finance. He is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and is OSHA-certified in machine guarding. Titus is also TUV-certified as a Functional Safety Expert and serves on several American National Standards Institute, National Fire Protection Association, and National Electrical Manufacturers Association national safety and health standards committees. Reach him at jb(at)jbtitus.com and via www.jbtitus.com.