Machine Safety: Does sustainability matter?

Effective, sustainable machine safety programs often contain these five high-level characteristics. Also see two more possible components of successful programs. These may help with your machine safety program’s consistency and focus over time.

01/24/2013


Sustainability and company DNA (or company culture) are often thought of as somewhat analogous terms. Both terms suggest consistency over time, durability and the ability to endure. If so, how would you define your machine safety program’s consistency and focus over time? Need help? See below for five high-level characteristics (and two more possible components) of effective, sustainable machine safety programs.

Sustainable machine safety programs help produce sustainable businesses. Why? Because safety pays! There are numerous testimonials today supporting the claim that safety pays because every dollar saved in a safety initiative goes directly to the bottom line. So, it looks like sustainability does matter but what are the key ingredients of an effective sustainable machine safety program?

In my opinion, there are at least...

5 high level characteristics of effective, sustainable machine safety programs

  1. A top down/bottom up corporate safety culture which includes; vision, goals, solutions, commitments, measurements and resources.
  2. A safety management system, which includes programs such as: 
  • Management of change
  • Fire and explosion safety
  • Machine safeguarding
  • Hazardous energy control
  • Electrical safety-related work practices
  • Fall protection
  • Ergonomics
  • Occupational hygiene control
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Respiratory protection
  • Hearing loss prevention, among others.

 

 

  1. A reporting process which embraces open acceptance and organizational feedback for safety hazards.
  2. Documentation and archiving methodologies.
  3. Open and accurate “report out” practices to employees including topics like trending, accident incidence, OSHA recordables, goals, best practices, confidential contact information, etc. 

Two elements of a sustainable program

I believe an example sustainable machine safety program might include:

Goal - zero workplace fatalities

Vision - to become recognized by stakeholders as a global sustainability leader in occupational health and safety (OH&S). To accomplish this we must:

  • Learn from any failures in our safety systems and processes
  • Prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses through a strong safety culture
  • Build capability in all of our team members through education and practical training.

J.B. Titus, CFSE

Your comments or suggestion are always welcome so please let us know your thoughts. Submit your ideas, experiences, and challenges on this subject in the comments section below. 

Related articles:

Risk Assessment – A Best Practice For Sustainable Performance

Machine Safety – where do effective safety cultures roost?

Machine Safety – the myths of safety cultures.

Effective Safety Cultures: Myths, Magic, and Reality, Earl Blair

Safety Culture: A Model for Understanding and Quantifying a Difficult Concept

 

 

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



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.