There is always the potential for accidents in any work environment. Properly utilizing OSHA's LockOut/TagOut (LOTO) procedures can help you greatly reduce the risk of injuries while performing maintenance on hazardous machinery.
It's more than simply putting a tag or a lock on the machine that's being worked on, though. Making sure that you know all of the required steps of the LOTO procedures will help you ensure you're creating the safest environment possible for your employees.
Training your team to effectively enact the LOTO procedures is important, but don't forget that it's ultimately up to you to make sure they are being followed properly. To learn how Accupoint Software can help improve your LOTO process, please feel free to contact us.
"That'll never happen." Famous last words. Things can and will go wrong. The job of the business owner and engineers is to anticipate, evaluate, and mitigate possible risks in the operation. Especially if those risks include the potential of loss of life, facilities, and equipment. Risk management and risk assessment are tools to assist companies in understanding and mitigating potential problems.
Anticipate the Risks:
This involves identifying the risks to the operation. The best way to start is to construct what-if scenarios. What if there was a major lightning strike on the north tower? What if a blowout preventer failed? What if our computer controllers are hacked? Identify key safety processes and discuss what would happen if each failed. Include a review of injury, maintenance, and incident reports, the near misses as well as the losses.
The best brainstorming sessions include staff from all parts of the operation, including the front line workers. They often know the dangers better than management because they've been on the receiving end of the close calls.
Evaluate the Risks:
Separate the risks into groups (some may fall into more than one category.) As an example, headings might include loss of life/injury, loss of the facility, loss of equipment, loss of data, loss of income, environmental damage, etc. Go through each category and rank the risks from highest damage potential to lowest. The same incident may rank differently in different categories.
This can lead to some sobering realizations such as if there was a fire at the south entrance, everyone in the maintenance bay would be trapped.
The next step requires expertise and analysis. Each risk needs to be considered by its probability of happening. For example, a natural disaster causing major property and environmental damage is going to have a higher probability in areas prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. Conversely, equipment that is new, well-maintained, and has little or no record of operating problems is going to have a lower probability of failure.
The goal is to create a risk matrix. At a glance, a company can sort out high damage, but low probability occurrences from the more immediate risks faced by the company. In short, the risk matrix identifies the likelihood of a failure and the damages if it happens.
This can be a difficult procedure. Software experts have gathered data about everything from weather or injury reports and the programs can assist you in assigning probabilities of different types of failures. Creation of a risk matrix may start out as yellow pads and whiteboards, but in modern business, it will end up as a computerized summary identifying the company's key vulnerabilities.
Mitigate the Risks:
This isn't just good business, its good stewardship. Once the risk matrix identifies areas of improvement, the company can target resources to lessening or eliminating the problems. Rather than trying to hurricane-proof the entire facility, it could be as simple as clearing out trees and bushes around key valves and equipment. If there is a history of injuries, a job process can be reworked or additional safety equipment installed. Computers can be upgraded and expanded to include easily accessible cloud storage. Comprehensive risk management reviews can also weed out inefficient tottering equipment that is costing the company more in dollars and danger than it is worth.
Performing a risk evaluation is a major project. Depending on the size and complexity of the operation, it is a significant commitment of manpower and resources. But the payoff is increased efficiency, lower accident rates, and real savings by avoiding unnecessary downtime and repairs. Bonuses include a better relationship with safety and environmental regulatory agencies and potentially lower insurance rates. Contact us to discuss solutions to help streamline and improve your risk management system.
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are a useful to way to determine the effectiveness of your team or company in its efforts to meet performance objectives. When establishing KPIs, it's important to understand exactly what would indicate success for your team, and whether or not it is measurable. Here are four KPI Metrics Measurement Fundamentals to consider.
Is it specific to your team and to your stakeholders?
A useful KPI targets a goal that your team has control over, and an outcome that your stakeholders desire. If you're managing a quality control laboratory, you likely wouldn't want to set a KPI dependent on the overall company's ROI. This is outside of your team's direct control, and it doesn't apply directly to your primary stakeholders.
Instead, ask yourself, what indicates my team is performing successfully, and what do our stakeholders care about. In a quality control laboratory, this might be number of tests run per day, or perhaps target turnaround times for each sample received.
Does it motivate or discourage?
Think of a KPI as a realistic stretch goal, not unrealistic perfection.
Improving customer satisfaction by 3% is likely doable. Requiring turnaround times under 24 hours for a 48 hour test is not.
What you set as a KPI directly impacts your team members and your stakeholders. It's up to you to set realistic, meaningful targets, and to frame it in a way that motivates instead of discourages.
How will the KPI be measured?
A KPI is only useful if there is a system in place to measure it. If you're targeting customer satisfaction, are you already sending out customer surveys? And do you have a baseline number to work from?
Or, if you're interested in setting turnaround times as your KPI, how will this be measured? Is there already a software system in place? Do you, your team, and your customers have a common understanding of what a satisfactory turnaround time would be? What will the dashboard for the KPI look like, and how will results be communicated?
What do you hope to learn or improve by measuring this KPI?
KPIs are not only an opportunity to determine how effective your team is, they're also a way to determine opportunities for improvement and growth. When setting a KPI, ask yourself what might need to change in order to succeed, and what needs to change if you're unsuccessful. These could be things like processes, improvements in communication, or streamlining sample processing. Who will make these changes, and when?
Selecting and measuring effective KPIs is an important way to ensure team success and client satisfaction. Please contact us to find out how we can help you track your targets. We look forward to hearing from you!