Rockwell Automation has had an emphasis on industrial safety for quite a few years, now. Five or six years ago, I moderated two Safety Automation Forums. It has done a few since during Automation Fair. This year they held an “America’s Safest Companies Conference” I think in place of it. The commitment to safety solutions just keeps growing.
I should mention that I conducted an interview regarding the Rockwell Safety Automation Builder that has been downloaded more than 200 times.
First, here is a news note about a Safety Maturity Index Tool to help manufacturers achieve best-in-class safety performance. This is a self-guided assessment that gives manufacturers visibility into the effectiveness of their safety programs and the ability to optimize plant performance. Applicable to any industry, any plant size and any location in the world, the SMI tool helps manufacturers see where they measure in safety culture, compliance and capital. Most importantly, it provides recommendations to help achieve best-in-class safety performance.
The three principal components of a successful safe workplace – culture (behavioral), compliance (procedural) and capital (technical) – are equally critical and interdependent in developing a strong, sustainable safety program. For example, creating and maintaining a robust safety culture but not investing in safety technologies and/or complying with standards lowers a company’s ability to provide a safe workplace. Likewise, the possibility of risk remains when manufacturers invest in safety technologies but fail to emphasize the importance of safety culture throughout the organization.
“The benefits of optimizing safety through the SMI assessment can result in fewer injuries and fines, as well as improved plant productivity, greater efficiencies and enhanced employee morale,” said Mark Eitzman, safety market development manager, Rockwell Automation, who is presenting the SMI tool at the America’s Safest Companies Conference in Atlanta on Oct. 28-30, 2013. “Achieving best-in-class safety performance begins with assessing current practices companywide, and now customers can do this on their own.”
Rockwell Safety Award Winners
Many manufacturers across several industries worldwide still view plant-floor safety as a burdensome and costly obligation that adds little value to overall operations. To raise awareness and recognize top-performing manufacturers that have realized the widespread benefits of a strong industrial safety program, Rockwell Automation announced its first Manufacturing Safety Excellence Awards commemorating the world’s safest manufacturing companies.
The winners – General Motors Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) – were selected because for them, safety is more than a priority, it’s a core value.
“These best-in-class companies have a robust safety culture that’s defined by continuous improvement,” said Mark Eitzman, safety market development manager, Rockwell Automation. “They take a comprehensive approach to safety by successfully integrating safety practices between the engineering and environmental health and safety (EHS) departments. This enables the kind of collaboration that reaches far beyond simple compliance to deliver improved plant productivity and greater efficiencies, and dramatically lower injury rates.”
Below are the details about the award winners:
- General Motors’ collaboration with industrial automation companies has played a central role in developing some of today’s most innovative safety-automation technologies that help improve worker safety while also increasing production throughput in assembly applications. That same technology is now helping manufacturers across a wide range of other industries realize similar benefits. General Motors makes safety a visible commitment at every level across the company. It also shows a strong commitment to improving worker safety outside of its own walls by continuously dedicating resources and expertise to help develop U.S. and international safety standards.
- PepsiCo successfully maintains a rigorous corporate-safety program across its global manufacturing sites. The safety program includes accountability that is driven from the top down, as well as adherence to a set of global standards that are embraced across the company.
- P&G combines its engineering and EHS functions under the same leadership, which improves worker safety. This is especially helpful because the two departments have a greater understanding of the other’s job and can work toward common goals when upgrading or sourcing new machinery. This collaboration also results in a unified approach to safety-standards compliance and helps ensure consistency across all machinery in all plants. P&G also holds its vendors and material suppliers to the same high standards to help mitigate risk throughout the supply chain.