Great Safety Info from “Plant Engineering”

I enjoy articles THAT I discover in Plant Engineering because one of my (many) goals is to obtain more coordination between the safety, engineering, maintenance and purchasing functions.  Management of Change (MOC) affects far more than PSM, combustible dust and guarding and interlocks.  We should all try to understand the plant engineers approach and work to better integrate safety and sustainability into those decisions.  The following article is one of several on Plant Engineering’s site.

Study finds safety is a path to productivity

Results of a recent study showed that companies reporting the lowest injury rates also had the best productivity

Mark Eitzman, Rockwell Automation
10/18/2013

Good safety is good business. However, this has not always been the case, with many manufacturers generally believing that each investment made in safety had a negative impact on efficiency and productivity.

Today, this view has changed with many top performing manufacturers proving that with contemporary safety automation technology, protection of workers on the plant floor can boost productivity, and the bottom line.

Results of a study conducted by the Aberdeen Group and sponsored by Rockwell Automation showed that companies reporting the lowest injury rates also had the best productivity. The study found that safety, promoted from the top by senior management, was as an essential element of the workplace culture. The report also showed that best-in-class manufacturers rely on advanced safety technologies and carefully calculated procedures to help maintain high levels of workplace protection. (CONTINUE READING)

Also, please read the following article on the same site:

5 things to consider when selecting a safety system

Performance requirements now drive the selection process

Luis Duran, ABB
10/29/2013

Safety is among the top priorities in any manufacturing facility, and given the changes in the industry, technology and even standard, there are a lot of concerns starting with the selection of a safety system.

The performance based safety standards (IEC61508 and IEC61511/ISA84) have changed the way safety system selection should happen. Gone are the days of simply choosing a certified product, or selecting a preferred architecture; today’s system selection is driven by performance requirements.

1: Hazard understanding

Correct, this has nothing to do with the safety system hardware. It is critical in the process to understand the scope of the process hazards and to determine the necessary risk reduction required. This should be done to create the Safety Requirements Specification (SRS) necessary to start a system selection. Even when replacing an existing system, this is critical as the risk profile of the plant may have changed since installation. 

2: The more diverse the better

Technology diversity: There has been a long standing requirement that a safety system must be different (or diverse) technology from its process automation counterpart to avoid common cause failures. But most safety systems rely on component redundancy (hardware fault tolerance, or HFT) to meet reliability and availability requirements, introducing a degree of common cause failure directly into the safety system.

Rather than redundancy, leading systems now provide diversity of technologies designed into logic solvers and I/O modules, along with a high degree of diagnostics, to allow a simplex hardware configuration to meet SIL3 requirements.

Product implementation diversity: The standards are imposing diversity on the way manufacturers deliver the product you buy. Even though most safety systems are manufactured by process automation vendors, organizational diversity between the two product teams is only the first level of separation.

Within the safety product team, leading suppliers will also be separating the design group from product development group and then again from product testing group. Ask your potential suppliers how diverse they really are?  (CONTINUE READING)

Howard

About mavity2012

I am a Senior Partner operating out of the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the Nation’s oldest and largest management employment and labor firms. My practice is national and keeps me on the road or in one of our 28 offices about 50 percent of the time. I created and co-chair the Firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. I have almost 29 years of experience as a labor lawyer, but rely even more heavily on the experience I gained in working in my family's various businesses, and through dealing with practical client issues. Employers tell me that they seldom meet an attorney who delivers on his promise to provide practical guidance and to be a business partner. As a result, some executives probably use different terms than “practical” to describe my fellow travelers in the profession. I don't enjoy the luxury of being impractical because I spend much of my time on shop floors and construction sites dealing with safety, union and related issues which are driven by real world processes and the need to protect and get the most out of one's most important business assets ... its employees. That's one of the reasons that I view safety compliance as a way to also manage problem employees, reduce litigation and develop the type of work environment that makes unions unnecessary. Starting out dealing with union-management challenges and a stint in the NLRB have better equipped me to see the interrelationship of legal and workplace factors. I am proud also of my experience at Fisher & Phillips, where providing “practical advice” is second only to legal excellence among the Firm’s values. Our website lists me as having provided counsel for over 225 occasions of union activity, guided unionized companies, and as having managed approximately 450 OSHA fatality cases in construction and general industry, ranging from dust explosions to building collapses, in virtually every state. I have coordinated complex inspections involving multi-employer sites, corporate-wide compliance, and issues involving criminal referral. As a full labor lawyer, I oversee audits of corporate labor, HR, and safety compliance. I have responded to virtually every type of day-to-day workplace inquiry, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, and numerous other state and federal agencies. At F & P, all of us seek to spot issues and then rely upon attorneys in the Firm who concentrate on those areas. No tunnel vision. I teach or speak around 50 times per year to business associations, bar and professional groups, and to individual businesses. I serve on safety committees at three states’ AGC Chapters, teach at the AGC ASMTC
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