Learning About the 5 Expenses You Will Avoid by Investing in Your Machine Safety Guarding for Your People

Cost avoidance is defined by any action taken in the present that prevents incurring greater costs in the future. For example, routinely investing in machine safety to remain in compliance with safety regulations is a form of cost avoidance.

Unlike immediate cost savings, cost avoidance measures are not reflected in financial statements or annual budgets. They are nevertheless important to a company’s profitability.

When cost avoidance is not exercised, companies can face several potentially catastrophic expenses.

These include:

  • Lost time wages and lost customers due to production constraints
  • Increased worker’s compensation rates
  • Medical bills
  • OSHA fines
  • Litigation and settlements

These costs can be unrecoverable and cannot be forecast due to the large number of unknown and unpredictable factors that can contribute to an incident.

Despite this, machine safety is often seen as an expense rather than an investment. It is not a product or solution a factory can use to generate sales, so it does not positively impact the bottom line. It is, instead, a way to protect your assets (including your employees) from future adverse consequences.

(Learn about 6 Things to Look for When Selecting Machine Guards)

In this article, I will break down each of these five expenses that can be incurred when cost avoidance is not executed for machine safety.

Lost Time Wages and Lost Customers

Lost time wages and lost customers go hand in hand.

When an accident occurs, the company is responsible for maintaining the employee’s wages in order to minimize the impact of the incident on their life. This means the company will maintain payroll without the positive result of meeting the customer’s need.

To avoid losing a customer, then, other trained workers need to do overtime to compensate for the decline in production rates. This also requires additional administrative time to manage shifting responsibilities, priorities, and training.

(Find out How a Phased Return to Work Program Is Beneficial for the Employee)

Worker’s Compensation Rates

Worker’s compensation is a type of business insurance that provides coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for employees who have suffered from a work-related injury or illness. This type of insurance is compliance-driven, but also protects employers from lawsuits.

Some insurance companies encourage machine safety by offering lower rates to companies that implement it. Be sure to research this option to help reduce this recurring expense, as well as avoiding increased premiums due to filed claims.

Medical Bills

Medical bills are a variable that is not always fully considered by the insurance companies. There is potential for post-accident in-network vs out-of-network costs, increased deductibles, emergency transport, and service fees – all depending on where the accident took place.

The company is typically task/ed with the direction of the medical care but challenged with not creating additional inconvenience and decreased comfort for the affected employee.

OSHA Fines

OSHA reports that machine safety is one of the top 10 most violated regulations in the industry.

OSHA standards are meant to ensure a safe environment for workers. Too often, however, these rules are ignored until there is a need to react to a negative event. This is usually met with fines ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the severity of the violation.

Litigation and Settlements

Litigation and settlements are the most expensive and the ugliest portion of the cost avoidance formula.

Companies want to take care of their employees, but when an accident occurs they often shift to a defensive position. This requires support of an internal legal team or an external law firm focused on job-related accidents. Consultations, payroll for fact finding, and negotiations are all time-sensitive costs that add up quickly. Court costs and associated expenditures may be incurred if negotiations are unsuccessful.

Ultimately a settlement of some sort will be paid out for pain and suffering for the employee and their family. This is an undesirable outcome that negatively affects the company’s bottom line.

Machine Safety Cost Avoidance

Cost avoidance is important to secure the profitability of any facility. The benefits of investing in machine safety more than outweigh the initial costs.

To ensure the costs are calculated properly for funds appropriation, be sure to work with a qualified turnkey safety guarding company. These companies can provide education, recommendations for required safety upgrades, and full designs and quotes. They can also help you create and implement your machine safety plan.

It is a small cost for a rich future.

Check out the published article

Co-authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation and Safeopedia

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Determining How to Build the Right Safety Team for Your Facility

Building the right safety team can be challenging because it takes people with great core values, knowledge of the regulations and standards, critical thinking skills, common sense, and an open mind.  Safety is measured by statistics, but just because people aren’t getting hurt doesn’t mean the facility is safe.

Employees are the most valuable company resource, so workplace safety must be held as the top priority for any operation.  One of the three lies people tell themselves is Safety 1st.  This tends to be forgotten or prioritized lower when customer demand increases, skilled labor decreases, and profits decline.

Specifications like ANSI and ISO standards were created to define how to properly protect workers from hazards.  OSHA at the state and federal levels were created to enforce these standards.  Unfortunately, OSHA regulations were written with blood because companies put these standards into effect reactively.  This may seem harsh, but the point needs to be made clear due to the high level of accidents per year from poor workplace safety conditions as solidified in the OSHA top 10 most-cited violations list.

In order to improve these conditions, the right safety team must be assembled to properly evaluate and execute plans to improve workplace safety.  No matter how many standards, rules, and regulations are created and enforced, if you don’t have the right team in place, it could all be irrelevant.  Standards are written in a way left open to some interpretation to the countless variations of custom equipment in each category.  This interpretation needs to be translated by safety personnel that understand the regulations to the workers responsible for the maintenance and operation of the machines.  At the same time, the machine processes and interactions need to be explained to the safety personnel so both sides can come together and collaborate on creating the best or most effective solution.  You also need to have a high-level exec with the authority to approve the plans to ensure progress moves forward.

Another key factor in pulling the right team together is finding and inviting in the source responsible for performing the workplace safety improvements.  Due to the lack of time and the current decline of skilled trade, the company in need of the improvements are only able to help by offering administrative assistance and perspective related to the workplace.  In an effort to provide long term, consistent support, a company focused on turnkey machine safety solutions is highly recommended.

Once the team is assembled, the focus switches to how change can be affected in a positive manner.  First thing is to collectively create a mission statement defined by the vision of the desired outcome.  Then you must determine roles and responsibilities of each team member based around their expertise of each person.  As everyone gets on the same page, then general tasks should be created per the scope of the projects, which create a chain reaction of scheduled meetings, documentation and procedures, execution of the safety projects, media outlets to the employees and proper training all with a point person facilitating the project(s).

Once everything is in place, informing the employees is critical, which can be done by newsletters, internal memos and emails, company meetings, etc…  The proper training must follow to ensure proper use of the new safety measures.  Employees are an extension of the core team, so companies need to make sure they are encouraged to participate through suggestions and feedback before, during, and after the process.  Safety is everyone’s responsibility!  Following these tips when building a collaborative team that is focused on Safety 1st will be integral in improving workplace safety and employee morale.

Check out the published article

Co-authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation and Professional Safety Journal (PSJ)

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

What is personal protection equipment (PPE) and how does it provide the proper safety to employees in an industrial facility?

Personal protection equipment or PPE is any type of equipment worn to protect a person from bodily harm to possible infection. These hazards could be electrical, mechanical, biohazard, or physical in nature. Ear plugs, safety glasses, and steel toed boots are typically the most common PPE equipment worn by workers in facilities where these hazards occur. PPE can be further subcategorized into job-specific related equipment. All PPE provides a barrier of some sort to protect the wearer from the hazards of their environment in a variety of applications, which include machine hazards along with environmental hazards. While workers will complain about the requirement of a facility in using PPE, a good design of these products and correct fitting will lessen the burden and encourage their continued use. Types of Personal Protection Equipment, just to name a few, are:

  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Ear plugs or earmuffs
  • Steel toe boots, steel toe shoes, or shoe covers
    • Metatarsal covers may be required
  • Hard hats or bump caps
  • Hi-vis vests or hi-vis shirts
  • Welding masks and welding jackets
  • Sleeves
  • Cut gloves (various levels of protection)
  • Face shields, respirators, and masks
  • Hair nets, beard nets, and smocks or gowns
  • Fall protection harnesses
  • Electrical specific:
    • Grounding straps
    • Arc flash clothing
    • Insulating rubber gloves
    • Insulating sleeves
    • Flame-resistant clothing

These PPE requirements in industrial facilities across the country must be followed by any visitor or on-site contractor.  Additional requirements may be required such as hand washing and sanitation, boot scrub and sanitation, and removal of jewelry. 

Check out the OSHA regulations on PPE:

It is everyone’s responsibility to improve workplace safety by understanding the PPE requirements of the facilities they’re in and do their part in protecting themselves as well as others. This includes experienced contractors when installing machine guarding systems in any industrial facility.

PowerSafe Automation is considered a proud U.S. partner with the ReeR Safety brand, a distinguished manufacturer of electronic safety devices

PowerSafe Automation offers turnkey solutions for machine safety systems and industrial automation applications.  Elevated premier services are offered ranging from custom design thru nationwide installations, which include the integration of electronic safety devices into the customer’s machines. Projects are designed with these electronic safety devices taking a basic machine guard and turning it into a “true” safety guard.  To accomplish this, we have developed a partnership with the ReeR Safety brand.  ReeR is a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art electronic safety devices of over 50 years located in Italy. 

ReeR Safety offers a wide range of products include safety light curtains, safety laser scanners, safety interlock switches, safety relays and safety controllers, encoders for speed monitoring safety systems, and all the required hardware, cables, and accessories required for electrical integration.  The safety light curtains are offered as standard, muting, or blanking styles, covers finger, hand, and body protection as well as explosion proof requirements and watertight light curtains used for washed down applications.  The safety laser scanner is the world’s smallest scanner allowing for tight placement locations protecting from material handling traffic.  The safety switches include the world’s smallest non-contact RFID type switches and locking solenoid keyed switches.  The wide range of safety relays and Mosaic programmable safety controllers allow for easy integration of all the electronic safety devices offered. 

ReeR Safety brand light curtains for electronic machine safety systems.
Safety Light Curtains
RFID non-contact safety switches and contactless safety sensors for machine guarding access doors.
Non-Contact Safety Switches
ReeR brand safety relays, safety controllers, and interfaces for electronic guarding devices.
Safety Relays and Safety Contollers
Integrated safety solutions for systems such as speed monitoring and timer delayed door locking.
Custom Integrated Safety Devices

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Understanding and identifying the needs for an emergency stop system

An emergency stop, also known as a kill switch, is an electronic device which latches mechanically and is used to provide an instant stop command to the machine controls. It is a mechanism used to shut off a section of the machine or the entire machine when an emergency situation is present. Emergency stops can either be wired or wireless units and is used in conjunction with a safety relay.

Wired emergency stops should have a ring label behind the button and can be conveniently wired with an M12 quick disconnect cable. Some emergency stop buttons come with a key slot as added security to ensure the control stays in the engaged position until it is unlocked by a particular operator or maintenance tech. Wired e-stops can also be supplied as just the button without the enclosure so it can be used in a Nema 12 or 4x enclosure when build custom safety controls.

A low profile wireless emergency stop pendant can be worn by the operator allowing for engaged outside of just the point of operator which communicates back to a control base module installed in the machine control panel. It covers a long range area and has a 12 hour range rechargeable LiON battery to extend the life of the unit.

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Explaining and informing a request to enter machine guarding safety system

A request to enter machine guarding safety system is a system restricting operator access to the hazardous zones until the area and / or machine is free from any moving parts and the stored energy deenergized. This will ensure the area is clear of any pinch points, shear points, and crush points relying on machine controls vs the operator decision making process.

Typically a modular machine guarding door or access panel is equipped with a locking solenoid safety interlock switch. A request to enter button is then installed into the circuit to notify the machine to finish its cycle and grant the operator access. Once this has been executed, then the machine will send a signal to the locking solenoid switch and unlock the door or access panel. This can be achieved several ways. One is in a timer-based system, engaging a timer within a safety controller which is based on the machine stop time. Another method is installing encoders on the machine and monitoring for a zero-speed condition.

These systems can be found on any perimeter guarding or machine enclosures where the machine doesn’t stop instantly when the emergency stop button is engaged, such as stamping and punch presses, robotic work cells, extruders, coil slitting machines, web converting equipment to name a few.

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Determining the complex Fundamentals of Robotic Safety Guarding before starting your project

Robotic automation for industrial applications is rapidly growing due to the reliability of programmed robots, as well as the low overhead costs compared to traditional manufacturing processes. Some of the common robots used in the manufacturing processes are Cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical robots. Robots are reliable and consistent, but failures can occur such as loss of air pressure, power failures, or glitches in the controls. A controlled environment should be developed to minimize the “human-factor” decision making due to the inherent trust between robot and human.

A controlled environment for robot automation safety is a development of robotic safety guarding, which is a hard-sided barrier or fencing integrated with electronic safety devices to create a controlled system taking a standard barrier to a true safety guard. This guarding is designed to define a clear unobstructed area for the robot to function properly protecting workers from hazards due to robot activity, material handling, and production debris. Hazards that can occur if robotic safety guarding is not in place are pinch, crush, wrap, cut, and nip points as well as colliding with the robot or the robot losing control of a part. Designs are created using a combination of OSHA, ANSI, ISO, and RIA safety standards. These safety standards are written with some inherent flexibility or “gray area” due to the wide range of manufacturing processes . A level of “common sense” and manufacturing experience needs to be factored in when closing the gap between the “gray area” and the guarding being designed.

When designing robotic safety guarding, several things need to be taken into account such as footprint, robot reachability, human interaction, and type of material being processed. A layout must be developed using the safety standards as it relates to the operational interaction as well as potential interaction the robot could have with a human. This layout will determine the shape of the robot cell which includes length, width, and height of the guarding required. A determination is also made for the material type of the structure and panels needed.

The hard guarding is most commonly designed with either T-Slotted Aluminum Extrusion or pre-fabricated steel. The T-Slotted material is a lightweight, yet rigid material, high aesthetic look, and completely modular for custom designs. Pre-fabricated steel provides higher strength, fixed sections, and a hi-vis safety yellow finish. Both guards require the use of solid plastic, metal, or wire mesh panels which is determined by the distance between the hazard and the personnel per the appropriate safety standards, as well as type of material being processed. These guards are designed with access doors for personnel and material handling entry, as well as a wide variety of accessories needed to create a complete barrier.

Once the physical barrier is designed, the specifications for the electronic safety devices can then be determined. These devices include safety interlock switches for door and removable access panels, safety light curtains and safety laser scanners for frequently accessed areas along with all the required safety controllers, relays, cables, and hardware to design the proper safety circuit. A wide range of sizes, protection coverage, durability, and safety levels are offered to properly fit the needs of each particular application.

The fundamentals of robotic safety guarding are fairly straight forward on the surface, but requires a lot of technical detail. Creating the proper design, choosing the right products, and implementing everything together as a “system” is critical to the protection of personnel and the robotic automation equipment when developing a safe and controlled environment. It is highly recommended to partner with a company that specializes in providing a turnkey solution due to the challenges companies face such as lack of time, skill level, and knowledge of the ever changing safety standards. Companies that offer design thru nationwide installation services of machine safety and automation applications can provide a level of consistency throughout the entire process, as well as a single point of contact minimizing communication issues.

Watch our video on this article

Check out the published article

Co-authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation and Professional Safety Journal (PSJ)

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Information on the modern Fundamentals of Machine Guarding to be accepting of when improving your workplace safety

Machine guarding is a safety feature consisting of barriers or electronic devices used to bridge the gap between centuries of machines and the hazardous conditions they present to workers. Machines have traditionally been built for the purpose of producing, assembling, or packaging a product. Safety was either an afterthought or minimal focus by protecting against only the “highest” risk. Over the years, these machines have been modified for faster production rates or ease of routine maintenance by minimizing or removing the machine guards. This has created unsafe conditions for workers presenting such hazards as crush points, pinch points, shear points, and thrown objects resulting in injury or death.

Due to the lack of training, a decline in the skilled workforce, increased distractions, and unexpected machine failures have made it difficult to ensure safe work conditions with a human-controlled environment. The level of injuries and deaths from machines have increased exponentially over the years, putting machine safety in OSHA’s, a government regulations agency, top 10 most-cited violations.

Proper machine guarding is a must to be put in place in order to improve workplace safety regardless of the cost. You can’t put a price on saving lives. Machine operation and production capabilities need to be considered when designing this guarding using a general understanding of ANSI and ISO specifications, OSHA guidelines, and common sense derived from “real-world” application experience to fill the gray area void that exists from the standards. One of the most critical tasks, which is typically ignored or forgotten about, is to schedule a group meeting with the machine guarding company, safety personnel, a maintenance tech, and the operator. This discussion will be a brainstorming session discussing guarding scenarios as it relates to the operator and maintenance needs while staying focused on the goal of workplace safety. No one knows their job better than the one doing it.

Machine guarding consists of physical barriers and electronic devices in conjunction with proper training to protect workers from inherent hazards. Physical barriers are commonly built using t-slotted aluminum extrusions for modularity due to the complexity of custom machines and unique processes. Prefabricated steel posts and framing can be also be used as well for higher strength applications requiring minimal customization. Based on the type and location of the hazard, solid plastic panels or wire mesh panels would most commonly be used as the barrier material. Then to complete the physical barriers, personnel and/or material handling access doors and panels are added along with any other necessary accessories to complete the guarding.

Once the physical barrier is completed, then the proper electronic safety devices are required to create a “true” machine safety guard. These are devices that bring the physical barrier “to life” by telling a machine how to react based on the actions of the physical barrier brought on by personnel. These devices consist of safety interlock switches, safety light curtains, safety laser scanners, and safety mats used in conjunction with the proper safety relays and safety controllers to create the proper safety circuit. Each device provides different functionality and levels of safety related to the specific application. An e-safety device in itself isn’t safe, only the proper device and integration for the project makes it safe. Technology and guidelines are continually changing, requiring the need to stay relevant with cutting-edge technology.

The installation process is just as critical as the rest. The machine guarding requires proper fit, rigid mounting, and proper electrical integration between electronic safety devices and the customer’s machine. The rest is irrelevant if the guard presents itself with openings providing access to the inherent hazards or if the machine doesn’t react properly with the electronic safety devices.

Industrial facilities can greatly benefit from using machine safety companies that provide turnkey solutions consisting of custom design, fabrication, and nationwide installation. The qualification process of sufficient liability insurance coverage, OSHA log documentation, and properly documented safety programs can be streamlined and solidified through companies like ISNetworld and Avetta. The value of this service is immeasurable due to the overall skill level, “field-fit” capabilities, focused on customer’s needs, consistency throughout, and a single point of contact for efficiencies and better communication. The cost of doing nothing has proven catastrophic. Safety must always be top priority!

Watch our video on this article

Check out the published article

Co-authored and published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation and Professional Safety Journal (PSJ)

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

Relating reasons for the continuing of Improving Workplace Safety Attitudes amongst your employees

Overcoming workplace safety attitudes must start with understanding of why the attitude exists at all. Workplace safety attitudes refers to how employees react to safety goals, policies & procedures, or new ideas & plans for accident prevention. The flip from positive to negative can happen in an instant due to the emotional connection workers typically have with their jobs and the ownership they take with their machines. This is influenced by adversity they’re faced with, incentive programs offered, and how empowered they feel.

Negative employees can increase turnover rates reducing safety, creating hostile work environments, deteriorating quality, and a decline in the bottom line. It is imperative the workers stay positive to help ensure an accident free workplace, which helps improve productivity, enhance quality, and reduce costs due to refined process efficiencies creating a more profitable company.
Change is not usually well received my most, but there’s a much better chance of success if you engage your workers. The people on the line know their jobs and their machines better than anyone. Seeking the input of those team members can be invaluable when trying to improve workplace safety. This also helps reduce negative mindset by making the employee see their input is valued.

It is human nature to want to do good, such as protecting themselves and their co-workers from harm. However, in this fast-paced world a lot of times production trumps safety for profit due to customer demands. This creates an environment of employees afraid to speak up in fear of being replaced, and there is an illusion that the facility is safe because people are not getting hurt or worse; justified allowances of recorded injuries are created. People are also used to status quo with their routines. Feedback such as “I’ve been running this machine for over 20 years and haven’t gotten hurt yet” or “if someone isn’t smart enough to stay away from the hazards, it’s their own fault if they get hurt” shows a high level of complacency. There’s a perception in the marketplace of how workers interact and respond based on tenure. Employees in the first few years are fearful of the machines, which could cause mistakes due to shaky confidence. Employees that have been with the company for 10+ years get comfortable creating complacency. Those in the middle appear to respect the equipment more which reduces fear but doesn’t create complacency.

Company policies state “Safety 1st” but tend to create a self-inflicted environment by being reactive to workplace safety only to make changes once someone has been injured. This creates a non-responsive workforce feeling like their concerns would fall on deaf ears. On the surface the belief is that spending money on workplace safety is an expense and will negatively impact the bottom line because it cannot be converted to a sale. Hidden costs companies tend to forget are productivity losses due to affected morale and loss time recordables, increased training for replacement workers, increased worker’s comp rates, OSHA fines, and ultimately litigation and settlements. Smaller companies try to fly under the radar of the regulations due to lack of budgeting for workplace safety and larger companies are slower to process approvals and funds due to a spread focus of time and money.

To successfully achieve safety goals, best practice is to find ways to focus on workplace safety attitudes by engaging with your employees. This can start through assurance of a safety-based culture created from the top down minimizing skepticism through actions. Once employees feel secure, giving them a voice to be heard during any kind of process changes or brainstorming sessions will go a long way. There will still be a group with a lack of confidence or willingness to speak up, so anonymous forms will help capture additional input from those workers. Incentivizing employees gives them another reason to keep their eyes and ears open so they can focus on helping reduce hazardous exposures. Ultimately the goal would be to empower a diversified team, structured with regular meetings, objectives, and routine follow-ups.

At the end of the day, the goal and duty of the employer is to do everything possible to keep employees safe and assets protected. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, but it takes someone stepping up in a leadership role to help mentor or guide their team through the process.

Watch the YouTube video on our article

Check out the published article

Authored and self-published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

If you found this blog post informative or helpful, please share with your
community.

For your next project, email us at psa365@powersafeautomation.com
or call us at 844-520-7233. 

Always remember, Safety First!

For additional information as part of your safety directives:

Learn more at https://powersafeautomation.com/

Subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/c/powersafeautomation365

Connect at https://www.linkedin.com/company/powersafe-automation/

PowerSafe Automation is a proud ISN compliance member #400-243872

The importance of choosing a safety solutions provider relationship over a product supplier purchase

Companies have a huge responsibility to make sure their employees are safe in the workplace. Safety and Maintenance professionals across America are plagued with the decisions between do I fixate on price or realize the value in “the solution”. Product companies can make a compelling argument, but companies can often get caught in the trap of being sold the wrong thing due to lack of info.

Time…there is a tricky word. Is there a grand illusion we can complete all tasks in a timely manner due to the assumption we have all the information to make the right decision? And how is “timely” measured? Is there a level of delusion thinking it will not take too long, when in reality projects typically breed more attention than originally expected? In reality, we are all busy with our primary job functions. When time is not considered in the value formula, you may end up with products from a supplier on your shelf collecting dust, potentially getting damaged, and not in place protecting the machine operators.

Technical aspects…there is a lot of pride that goes into the work we all do. However, ego sometimes rears its ugly head with the statement “I got this” or “it’s not that bad”. Ask yourself a few questions…Do you have a good understanding of the OSHA regulations and ANSI standards? Do you know how to choose the right products from suppliers as it relates to your specific needs? Do you know how to properly construct the barrier guards, position the electronic safety devices, and integrate them into your equipment all while achieving the required level of safety? If you cannot confidently answer all of these questions as it relates to executing your machine guarding directives, it will cause catastrophic results if you “give it a shot”.

Pricing is certainly a valid piece of the equation, but when you consider buying only product from a supplier you are putting yourself at risk of consequences related to your machine guarding projects. To avoid these types of consequences, you must consider a turnkey safety solutions provider and one that covers the entire United States. These companies that focus on custom design, fabrication, and nationwide installation bring several advantages which will provide peace of mind to you and your company. These advantages include understanding regulations and standards, ability to review your process to spec the proper products, create consistency in designs not only isolated to one machine but for multiple machines and/or facilities across the country, the proper safety programs and insurance coverage, and better communication.

The decision to invest in the turnkey safety solution reduces pain points, improves workplace safety attitudes, potentially reduces the lag time between hazardous exposure and machine guarding ultimately lowering the chance of being another OSHA statistic. Take all of this into account the next time you are at a crossroad of improving your machine safety.

Watch the YouTube video on our article

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Authored and self-published by Shawn Mantel, Owner / Operator at PowerSafe Automation

Shawn Mantel is the owner and author of the @powersafeautomation blog posts, where he helps to educate and spark ideas with workers on how to improve workplace safety through turnkey safety guarding solutions.

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Always remember, Safety First!

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