Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Machine Safety Strategy

When we develop our machine safety strategy, the first question is whether we want to focus on risk or compliance.  Both are important and should be considered but take this into consideration.

Risk: Using a risk assessment you’ve identified issues with the process that need improved controls.  You want to install new controls but will need to design and integrate them into the system.

Compliance:  You have the right controls, but they don’t meet a standard or regulation.  You will need to correct them in order to truly say the controls comply.

The challenge with risk is that these are usually longer-term items that require quite a bit of input from operators, maintenance and vendors to ensure the correct application of the controls.  The challenge with compliance is that although required, in most cases they don’t change the risk since the controls were already in place.  When working on a machine safety program its always important to make progress, even if its small improvements every day.  When we aren’t making improvements, it could look to the organization that safety is not important, even though lots of work is happening in the background.

We recommend a hybrid approach where both risk and compliance are filters to select action items to work on.  Compliance are usually more straight forward items with clear scope, and coupled with risk items can be used to demonstrate progress and also show the correct application of the risk items so that end users understand what will be required to install and can give more valuable feedback.


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 7:49 AM


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