In today's economic environment, it's no surprise that manufacturers are focused on cutting costs and improving productivity whenever possible. However, these priorities must be balanced with effective safety strategies that both ensure compliance and mitigate risks.
A new report from Aberdeen Group explores the challenge. Between September and October 2011, Aberdeen used on an online survey to examine the use, experiences and intentions of more than 120 enterprises that have implemented safety systems. The research showed that:
Best-in-Class companies are 81 percent more likely than Laggard organizations to leverage outsource services to maintain their safety systems.
Best-in-Class companies achieve a 0.2 percent injury frequency rate as compared to Laggard organizations who achieve 3.9 percent injury frequency rate.
Best-in-Class companies achieve a 0.09 percent repeat accident rate.
Best-in-Class companies are twice as likely as Laggards to leverage diagnostic tools to gain visibility into manufacturing operations.
But, even so, it's clear that much work needs to be done.
Only 40 percent of Best-in-Class companies have integrated their safety system with their control system.
Only 60 percent of Best-in-Class companies are leveraging the open protocols that allow the seamless transport (and visibility) of data between safety control and their components.
Even of Best-in-Class companies need to improve the security and reliability of their safety systems. Only 65 percent are implementing intrusion detection tools, and only about half (53 percent) have strong user authentication tools in place.
In order to achieve Best-in-Class performance, Aberdeen suggests that companies:
establish a formalized risk management strategy.
use executive leadership to ingrain safety in corporate culture.
implement a single platform to perform safety functions and plant operations.
adopt open protocols for communication between safety system and components.
update security tools.
The full report, titled Integrated Safety Systems: Ensuring Safety and Operational Productivity, is available here.