7 Steps to Modernize Your Plant Safety
Modern Problems Require Modern Solutions.
In the hustle and bustle of adopting and adapting to more digitized, profitable, efficient, exciting—and sometimes overwhelming—industry technology, upgrading your plant safety procedures may not always be first on the list.
We all know ignoring safety has negative repercussions, from downtime and lost productivity, to fines for failed compliance, to the worst-case, employee injury. However, even still, safety can be left as an afterthought.
Safety Equals Productivity
Modernizing plant safety early in your new product/system adoption allows you to start standardizing new processes, start answering complex questions, and ease the employee transition—all while protecting productivity and overall safety. Read the seven steps below to begin modernizing your operation’s safety posture.
1. Optimize your Communication: Digitize Your Safety Procedures and Emergency Plan
A documented safety plan is a historic solution that keeps track of and ensures that safety processes and tasks are in one place. Accessibility and ease of use have always been the standard, so why not make those processes available digitally?
Implementing digital safety management systems or Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) software streamlines safety processes. These systems allow employees to easily report an incident, track safety metrics, manage safety documentation, and conduct safety audits. In the case of an accident, sharing emergency response plans has never been easier. Simplify access to safety information by sharing evacuation procedures and emergency contact details through a mobile app or digital platform.
Digital procedure upgrades are simpler to complete as manufacturing technology continually evolves, with new tools, processes, and materials emerging while older solutions become obsolete.
2. Keep Employees Up to Date on Training
As products, processes, and regulations constantly change, updating training procedures and taking advantage of vendor-provided training sessions is a terrific way to be aware of emerging trends, learn about proper procedures, and protect workers from harm. You can count on this safety training to be provided by knowledgeable experts who can accurately train on proper procedures and safe use of modern technologies. Designed to inspire employee confidence, regular safety training fosters a safety culture and encourages reports of near accidents without fear of repercussions.
3. Implement Drones and VR for Maintenance Tasks
Automate your safety tasks to keep workers safe on the job. Use robots and augmented/virtual reality to go into situations where humans do not want to go and can be used to help train workers by visualizing hazardous conditions. Drones can provide visual assessments of infrastructure, equipment, and potential safety issues. Use drones to perform safety inspections of hard-to-reach or hazardous areas.
Augmented reality (AR) uses computer-generated visuals, sounds, and other sensory stimuli to build an enhanced interactive version of the real world. AR can provide real-time information and guidance to workers, while VR can simulate hazardous situations for training purposes.
4. Incorporate Proper Safety Sensing Technology to Manage Robots and Humans in similar areas.
As the use of robotics is growing, you may have robots and humans working in the same areas of your facility. Robots improve productivity, reduce process errors, and improve safety by working in hazardous areas that are dangerous for humans. However, without proper safety precautions in place, productivity and human lives are at risk. Human workers can risk injury if robots fail to pause their work as people pass through or work within the robot’s area.
Proper safety sensing technology knows the difference between employees and robots and enables them to safely work together while improving productivity.
5. Data Analytics using IIoT sensors
IIoT sensors make safety performance available at your fingertips. Predictive maintenance shows real time data, allowing you to catch potential safety hazards before they occur. Data is often visible through your mobile device or laptop.
You can centralize and integrate data from various sources and systems within the manufacturing environment for greater visibility. This may involve connecting ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems), and PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) systems to create a unified data ecosystem where you can analyze data, trends, and discover areas of improvement.
6. Develop a Road Map to Meet Essential Safety Levels and Optimize Savings
Each type of machinery is unique, and as you purchase updated equipment, you need to figure out how to meet essential safety levels for each product. Consider getting an audit and roadmap to understand better how to prioritize spending on safety upgrades. With their safety audit and roadmap offering,
Schmersal focuses on upgrading safety by level of importance, starting with the most dangerous machines first.
7. Ensure Compliance with all Safety and Environmental Regulations
With tightening environmental and safety standards, ensuring compliance and preventing fines requires attention to detail and staying up-to-date procedures and standards relevant to your industry.
IIOT data, safety road maps, and mobile/digital reports make compliance with regulations straightforward and easy to access. Modern tools streamline reporting and auditing, ensuring compliance is right at your fingertips. Regular participation in training is also useful in learning how to follow procedures and stay on track for success.
By taking steps to improve your safety processes, you can ensure that a new, more productive future is always a safer one.
Interested in learning more about optimizing your plant safety? Reach out to us with questions.Back to All News