Machine Safety: Where do effective safety cultures roost?

An improved safety culture, advocated at the business level with engineering input, can bring about faster implementation of proven machine safety technologies, improving safety and adding economic value.

09/07/2012


An improved safety culture, advocated at the business level with engineering input, can bring about faster adoption of proven machine safety technologies, improving safety, and adding economic value. Courtesy: JB Titus & Associates

Sometimes, when new life rushes onto the factory floor via machine safety technology innovation, we have a “ta-dah” moment of realization about organizational effectiveness or the lack thereof!

 

There has been a very interesting discussion playing out on the LinkedIn Safety Automation Forum regarding safety cultures. This discussion was kicked off by Steve Ludwig (Rockwell Automation) and his highlighting of an article written by Cynthia Carroll, CEO of Anglo American plc, titled “The CEO of Anglo American on Getting Serious About Safety.” The discussion and article are, in my mind, centered around two very distinctive organizational camps I have witnessed in industry over the past 40-plus years. Those two camps are what I call “business talk” and “engineering talk.” And, most often it’s the business talk group which runs a company, establishes company vision, lays out the short and long term goals and objectives, and establishes the industrial safety policy. In other words, the business talk group follows top-down methodologies for running the business.

 

The engineering talk group is that part of the business that provides solutions and methodologies that implement the business talk. Engineering talk seldom sets or influences the setting of safety policy via bottom up approaches. However, they are the group usually most interested in innovative new ways to meet the corporate requirements established by the business talk within a company. With this said, it’s my opinion that the engineering talk camp generally will not engage in corporate wide adoption of innovative new safety technology by themselves. The engineering talk group is almost always the early adopter of new safety solutions but, as this graph illustrates, approximately 85% of the marketplace waits for company wide adoption before moving ahead. So, what’s the answer to facilitating earlier adoption?

 

The answer, in my opinion, is that a company’s business case for innovative new safety technology needs to be integrated with the business talk of a company. Only then do the executives of a company become aware of a paradigm shift in machine safety that improves productivity, reduces unplanned downtime and offers additional profits to the bottom line.

 

A recent Aberdeen Group study of more than 120 executives revealed that when executives understand that innovative new machine safety solutions are available offering opportunities for increased profitability – corporate strategies and safety policy begin to shift.

J.B. Titus, CFSE

 

A positive shift in safety policy occurs when I have witnessed a company’s “effective safety culture” in action, moving to company wide adoption of the new safety technology.

 

There are lots of opinions on this subject but it’s been my experience that truly effective safety cultures roost at the top. Johnson & Johnson is one of these companies emphasizing employee safety in the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Credo.

 

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. Click on the following text if you don't see a comments box, then scroll down: Machine Safety: Where do effective safety cultures roost?

 

Related articles:

Designing In Machine Guarding

How To Integrate Safety

Safety Automation Forum

The CEO of Anglo American on Getting Serious About Safety

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



The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
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.
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

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

Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
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.
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

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

Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
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.
Robotic integration and cloud connections; SCADA and cybersecurity; Motor efficiency standards; Open- and closed-loop control; Augmented reality
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

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

Cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me