Every 15 seconds, somewhere in the world, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease, and 160 workers have a work-related accident. Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases – more than 2.3 million deaths per year. The economic burden of poor occupational safety and health practices is estimated at 4% of global Gross Domestic Product each year.
Today, best-in-class manufacturers realize that the combination of employee behavior, processes and procedures, and technology implementation enable them to achieve 5-7% higher OEE, 2-4% less unscheduled downtime and less than half the injury rate of average performers. These manufacturers share common best practices surrounding three core issues – Culture (behavior), Compliance (procedural), and Capital (technical):
Culture – Safety culture represents company and worker behavior. Safety culture is generally indicative of the broader company culture. Employees who are transparent, accountable and seeking to continually improve with respect to safety will carry those traits into the rest of their work, to the company’s benefit – helping improve employee morale and help attract top-quality workers, which will feed into the company’s strong culture.
Compliance – Safety compliance represents company procedures. Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) and Engineering Departments must collaborate on Culture (EH&S), Compliance (both EH&S and Engineering) and Capital (Engineering). At a minimum, a company should have functional safety standards in place that have been agreed upon by engineering, EH&S, operations and maintenance. Companies must also enforce safe practices from suppliers, since preventable industrial accidents and mistreated laborers increasingly result in supply chain interruptions and represent substantial reputational risk to your brand.
Capital – Safety capital represents company technology, vital to both safety and productivity. Studies show that 74% of best-in-class manufacturers use integrated safety technologies to improve diagnostics and reduce unscheduled downtime. Integrated solutions can be connected to plantwide information systems, giving plant operators visibility into metrics such as downtime reports, and machinery and line efficiency.
While many companies focus solely on procedure and culture – which are also critical – they often ignore the importance of safety technology to keeping workers safe, and to improving productivity. Average performers sacrifice productivity to achieve a safe working environment, while best-in-class performers use safety technology to improve both.
To support this holistic, comprehensive view of safety, Rockwell Automation has introduced the Safety Maturity Index™ (SMI). The SMI is a comprehensive measurement of performance in safety culture, compliance processes and procedures, and capital investments in safety technologies. It helps companies understand their current level of performance and steps they can take to improve safety and profitability.
The SMI helps give manufacturers visibility into their safety programs and the ability to optimize them. It can help an organization measure and evaluate its safety program against the three key pillars – culture, compliance and capital – on a scale of one to four.
This scale ranges from manufacturers “minimizing investment,” to “attaining compliance,” to avoiding costs, to obtaining operational excellence.
Where does your company fall within this scale? You can explore our SMI evaluator tool if you want to learn more.
Explore other tools and free downloads on safety here.