Get Resourceful: Prioritize Safety in 2019

Get a Safe, Fresh Start

Safety is more than just a box to check, especially when it comes to industrial equipment. When the lives of your employees and livelihood of your business are on the line, it’s critical that your safety program is as pervasive as it is effective. Whether you need to revamp your current policies and procedures to meet necessary requirements or scale your safety program across your organization, there is no shortage of helpful resources.

You’re Not Alone

From our website to our seasoned specialists, we’re here to provide guidance and make recommendations. Simply select the safety category on our blog or check out our workplace safety and training and preventions pages—or even better, contact us.

Additionally, Rockwell Automation® recently started a four-part Safety Enterprise Strategy webinar series. Through this series, safety managers and champions can gain the knowledge necessary to develop and maintain sustainable, scalable programs. Though part one took place earlier this month, don’t let that discourage you from signing up for the series. You can view a recording of part one on the Rockwell Automation website: Make Your Safety Programs Efficient and Productive.

Parts two through four of the series highlight core safety components including lockout/tagout, machine safety, and arc flash. Each piece is critical in its own right, so let’s dip a toe in as you consider signing up for a deep dive into the series.

Looking at Lockout/Tagout

lockout/tagoutLast week, we went through the keys to lockout/tagout compliance, and it’s such an important topic, it’s worth discussing again. The majority of maintenance, repairs, and overhaul (MRO) require lockout/tagout procedures. This is especially true of tasks that combine electrical power with moving parts. Without proper methods and devices, you could put your employees’ lives at risk.

A safe, smart program combines the following:

  • Documented policies
  • Specific procedures
  • Marked points of isolation
  • Appropriate devices
  • Proper training
  • Regular audits

Part two of Rockwell Automation’s webinar series, A Closer Look at Lockout/Tagout Program Management, covers the components of a compliant program and addresses common implementation pitfalls.

Managing Machine Safety

Machine SafetyTo meet OSHA’s requirements, machines with moving parts must be fitted with safeguards to protect workers from preventable injuries. When companies don’t take proper precautions, machine operators and employees in the vicinity may be exposed to threats that can result in traumatic injury and death.

Machine safety starts with a thorough risk assessment, as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Such assessments can be performed by a trained professional, or facility personnel can be trained to do them. By reviewing machines, equipment, controls, and processes, the goal is to identify and address the current risk level. The process typically involves a checklist based on compliance standards.

Well-thought-out safety systems reduce injury rates and associated costs, but it’s important that they not impede productivity. The key is functional safety. This is achieved by balancing intelligent controls (e.g., light curtains, door interlocks, zone scanners, etc.) with planning and documentation while establishing a culture of safety.

Part three of the webinar series, Incorporating Machine Safety at an Enterprise Scale, will take you through industry best practices and walk you through real-world steps to get you started.

Addressing Arc Flash

Section 70E of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) standards and regulations requires that workers be protected from exposure to significant electrical hazards. When you consider the power, impact, and potential for serious harm, arc flash is no small part of that.

As you can see in the video above, an everyday situation can quickly escalate into a potentially deadly incident in just seconds. Preventing arc flash and protecting workers from injury requires proper training and personal protective equipment (PPE). NFPA‘s standards state that an arc flash risk assessment must be performed. Assessments should:

  • Identify where a worker, equipment, or the facility could be damaged by an electrical flash or blast
  • Properly label all identified areas
  • Include the protective boundaries and necessary equipment

Assessing and addressing risk is just part of the process of protecting workers and facilities from arc flash. The NFPA requires workers who may be exposed to electrical hazards must have on-the-job or classroom training every three years. This ensures that they are aware of the potential magnitude of the risk and helps them learn to avoid it.

The final part of the series, Effective Strategies for Developing and Maintaining Your Arc Flash Program, will guide you through safety requirements, outline best practices, and help you improve your program.

We’re a Resource and an Ally

Making 2019 a safe (or safer) year for your organization doesn’t have to be an intimidating feat. Our knowledgeable specials are here to help you institute a new safety program or improve an existing one. For expert guidance and advice, contact us today.

Is your safety program ready for 2019? Let us know in the comments.