In an average manufacturing plant, the presence of old industrial equipment, bad systems, or untrained workers can mean a higher risk of workplace accidents. In fact, studies show 94 percent of accidents occur because of unsafe actions, at-risk behaviors or poor decisions, while only 6 percent happen as a result of unsafe conditions, OSHA violations, and dangerous machinery. This shows that while compliance is necessary, it does not guarantee things will operate as smoothly as they should.
Safety is about people, which means correcting behavior can be a challenge. But it’s possible to steer your employees in the right direction by engaging them during the continuous improvement process.
The OSHA Safety and Health System Model consists of four categories:
Management Leadership and Employee Involvement: Processes that involve the company coming together to brainstorm and implement solutions to plant issues Worksite Analysis: Periodic inspections and infra that track near-misses, safety incidents, and accident investigations Hazard Prevention and Control: Preventative maintenance performed to ensure the operation of a clean, organized facility Safety and Health Training: Information on how to keep the workplace safe
Many lean manufacturing tools and techniques are designed to support these efforts, including audits, safety metrics, and systems that help track workplace accidents and other safety-related incidents.
But how do you really get employees involved in making your plant a better, safer, and more efficient place to work?
Initiate active conversations.
As an owner or manager, it’s possible you might not spot issues your workers see on an everyday basis. Having open and meaningful discussions about safety and perceived safety hazards can provide insight into what’s on their minds and what issues should be tackled first to ensure the shop floor is a safe place to operate.
Engage in team-based events.
Facilitated by consultants and experts, lean workshops are a great way to reduce the likelihood of workplace accidents. Kaizen events, Gemba walks, and “rattlesnake hunts” involve employees seeking and fixing things thought of as safety hazards, including stray cables, wiring, tools on the floor, and other common issues. These act as a great start to your overall improvement strategy and build better avenues of communication between your workers and higher management.
Incorporate tracking into your existing systems.
Once modifications are underway, you can talk with a lean expert about implementing processes that can enhance safety and prevent issues from reoccurring. Not only does this allow you to see what incidents or near-accidents happen in your plant over time, but your workers can also use it to highlight and prioritize safety concerns, making them an essential part of creating a better place to work.
But no matter what you do, it’s important to remember lean manufacturing – in concept and in practice – is about making changes and eliminating waste. Safety issues are non-value added, and many techniques can be used to attack those issues and challenges that could lead to problems later on. Start considering how these could positively impact your plant, and ultimately lead to the creation of a safer environment where your employees feel safe, heard, and accounted for.
Take the next step in making your operations more efficient and improving the safety of your plant by calling us at 216.391.7766 or emailing Linda Barita at email@example.com.
One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910). It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.
The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for