Safety and productivity are inseparable. If you need to make your manufacturing facility more productive, begin by sharpening your approach to safety.
That’s the lesson learned by best-in-class manufacturers around the globe, including Malt-O-Meal Company and pulp-and-paper equipment builder Automatic Handling International.
They have debunked the myth that helping protect people and equipment takes a toll on productivity, and thus, the bottom line.
Rockwell Automation recently commissioned two studies from the Aberdeen Group that measured the relationship between safety and productivity. After dividing manufacturers into three groups (best-in-class, industry average and laggards), Aberdeen researchers found that best-in-class firms scored highest on a number of safety measures.
But where specifically should your focus lie? Adopting a formalized risk management process, proactively assessing and mitigating risks, and using technologies that integrate safety systems with the standard automation system and eliminating threats, you can better protect your people and reduce liability, while increasing productivity and profits.
In addition, look at leading, rather than lagging, indicators to evaluate safety. Traditionally, manufacturers have used lagging indicators to evaluate safety. These indicators are reactive – they document what has already happened, but do not necessarily affect positive change.
Fortunately, as the chart below shows, other indicators help provide a safer path forward.
Current and leading indicators measure incident-prevention activities. They can enable you to make real-time decisions and implement changes to thwart safety issues before they occur.
While proper risk assessment is critical, it is only the first step in developing a proactive safety program. Once you have conducted a thorough and honest risk assessment, take the next steps:
Don’t believe the myth. Protection and productivity are allies, not enemies. Embrace manufacturing safety and reap its rewards. To learn how to reduce risk and make safety an inherent value in your organization, join us at the IMTS conference in September.