Each year, six million workers suffer from non-fatal workplace injuries, resulting in an annual cost of more than $125 billion to United States businesses. Outside the primary objective of reducing injuries to people or property, proving the value of a safety system is an ongoing challenge for safety professionals and risk managers. Many find it difficult to financially justify discretionary investments in safety-related assets and training intended to reduce work-related injuries and insurance premiums.
Ask any production line manager about the importance of safety and they will likely tell you about the critical role it plays in helping to protect personnel, reduce injuries and meet compliance demands. These are all valid objectives, but manufacturers and machine builders are missing opportunities if they only focus on avoiding negative consequences rather than striving for greater performance — e.g. increased productivity, improved competitiveness and overall profitability.
Historically, the industry viewed safety practices as punitive actions or compliance activities, not as opportunities to deliver real value or gain a competitive edge. These days, however, manufacturers understand that a well-designed safety system can help improve their efficiency and productivity, and machine builders increasingly recognize how safety systems can improve both business and machine performance, helping differentiate themselves to potential customers.
The combination of functional safety standards, new safety technologies and innovative design approaches are positioning safety as a core system function that can deliver significant business and economic value. This includes financial returns beyond the benefits of reducing costs associated with accidents and medical expenses.
Integrating a safety solution to manage risk is a process that is best employed via up-front teamwork between operations and risk management, such as risk managers, safety professionals and claim analysts. In addition, it is important to understand risk and the different types of risk that exist on a plant floor. Risk awareness often leads to better decisions that can reduce soft costs. By providing an easy-to-be-safe environment for operators with safety solutions that are designed into the machine and focus on complete machine life-cycle requirements, companies are able to reduce indirect costs. In this white paper, we will highlight key elements of effective risk management and safety programs, review workers' compensation premium plans and the risks that affect them, discuss the implications on workers compensation insurance premiums, and provide ideas to easure potential savings that can be found in proactive safety investments.
As production runs ever closer to equipment and facility operating limits and new plants come on line in expanding and developing economies, the pressure to design and operate systems more safely and economically is increasing. A key to meeting this goal is having competent people who are knowledgeable and experienced in applying the IEC 61508 and IEC 61511/ISA 84 functional safety standards. To develop and measure an individual's safety engineering competence, several personnel functional safety certification programs have been created.
This paper will discuss why these programs are needed and the benefits they deliver to individuals and companies alike. It will also review the characteristics and differences of the various certification programs on the market today, things to watch out for, and some important questions to ask when selecting a certification program.
Measures to increase equipment and personnel safety in manufacturing are reflected in new approaches and technologies designed to help minimize the risk of workplace dangers. One rapidly growing area of focus is reducing the potentially serious hazards associated with arc flash events. This white paper examines the causes of arc flash, discusses the standards guiding arc flash safety and details the role arc-resistant motor control centers (MCCs) play in helping contain arc energy. It also highlights the key features of an effective arc-resistant MCC design.