Safety First – Observing the Rules
Manufacturing means machines, and machines have varying levels of danger associated with them. That's why you have safety committees, safety manuals, safety reviews, safety posters, safety memos… and OSHA. Despite every effort, accidents happen. Like your ongoing efforts to improve efficiency, you need ongoing efforts to ensure the safest possible work place, and there's an often overlooked way to do that.

Your shop floor is probably a beehive of activity with a lot of moving parts and moving people. From repetitive use injuries to catastrophe, let's face it: It's a dangerous place. For that reason, you and your management team have spent hours upon hours developing procedures and taking the steps needed to eliminate risks. You've created ergonomic work spaces, provided training on proper lifting techniques, required lift truck operation certification, installed guards and equipment interlocks, placed first aid kits throughout the plant and have trained employee first responders, and regularly hold safety training refresher sessions, mandatory, of course. Safety posters adorn the plant. Heck, you may have gone so far as to post them on the lavatory stall doors. Whew.

The common denominator to almost all accidents is the human factor – your employees. From a slip and fall to a back injury to something far worse, the typical response to an accident is "How did this happen?" And with it comes the desire for future prevention. Yes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but your workers have to follow the procedures and abide by the safety rules. The answer to the "How did this happen" question usually involves a short cut, a disabled safety guard or simply ignorance of the procedure. So how do you fix that?

As we covered in the last two articles about about Gemba Walks and Kokai Watches , the power of observation packs a pretty good punch. What a lot of production supervisors and management teams overlook is that you can put that same power to work to improve safety. Do workers take short cuts or fail to follow the safety procedures when the boss is standing there watching? Not usually. However, you can't place a supervisor at every work station to observe and ensure that the safety rules are being followed… or can you?

The answer, of course, is that you can with the aid of cameras and technology. Video cameras give you the opportunity for ongoing observation from anywhere in the plant. Whether dangerous short cuts are being taken or ignorance of a safety procedure is displayed, once you observe it, you can take necessary action to correct it before it turns into an injury, a hazard or worse.

MPower is in place to provide you with this type of monitoring. Many companies that have installed video monitoring equipment as an efficiency enhancer quickly discovered the benefit these cameras provided to their efforts in safety improvement as well. While we identify efficiency savings in production improvements that outweigh their monthly fees, employee safety is priceless.

Contact us to learn how MPower can harness the power of observation to improve your bottom line and boost your efforts to keep your employees productive, and most importantly, safe.