OPINION: Staying safe and secure
Mario CywinskiHealth & Safety Industry Manufacturing Operations covid-19 pandemic health health and safety pandemic productive plant safe and secure safety and security socially distance wear masks
Editor's Notebook April 2022 Issue, MRO Magazine.
Machinery and Equipment MRO ran a poll on our web site recently asking, “Does your company have a safety program?”. While we expected most to have some sort of program, only four per cent of respondents said they did not. Over 90 per cent said they had at least a basic program, with nearly three-quarters saying they have a detailed program. While unscientific, the poll shows that the majority of companies value safety at their plants. This is of utmost importance, as a safe plant is a productive plant.
For many, workplace safety focuses on the workplace itself, therefore the machinery and equipment being used, safe practices for working on those machines, and the environment for each worker. In that context, accidents, even small ones, not only cause heartache for the employees involved, but can cost a company money and put it in a state of unplanned downtime. Not to mention any litigation that may arise.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a safety plan also needed to include keeping employees safe from an invisible threat. Companies had to instill plans to have workers wear marks, socially distance, do symptom screening, perform temperature checks, and many more. Add to this the ever-changing rules, and what a safety program looked like two years ago, is much different than it does now.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) outlines the top ways to make a workplace safe. Eliminating the hazard being the most effective; followed by substitution, if you can’t remove the hazard, replace it; put in engineering controls to mitigate the hazards; add administrative controls to change the way work is being performed; and use proper personal protective equipment. These are the ways to make your plant as safe as possible. CCOHS’s Machine safeguards and hazard control in manufacturing article is available.
What do many machines contain that are so important that MRO has a column on it in each issue? What can vary in size from tiny to super large? Well, that would be bearings, and their safety is something that may be taken for granted. The most common safety issues for bearings come when they are being installed, removed, or lubricated. It is important to use proper tools, and not take shortcuts, making sure to have a plan in place for the job. Our resident bearing expert, Doug Martin, speaks to bearing safety.
Finally, it is important to remember that reactive work is more dangerous than planned work, as the need to get things back up and running as soon as possible can cause workers to rush. Doc Palmer looks at how Planning and scheduling
bolsters safety and success.
From all of us at MRO, stay safe.