Establish an Effective Health and Safety Program with your CMMS
It seems like in these times of increasing competition, the costs of doing business are becoming more and more difficult to control. Nevertheless, there is an area where costs can be reduced or at least controlled: worker health and safety. Every year worker injuries and illnesses add additional costs to companies trying to compete, in addition to having a major effect on employee morale and focus. If these health and safety issues are properly addressed, companies can reduce the risk of injury, cut costs and ensure that government regulations are complied with. The simple solution is to build an effective health and safety program with your CMMS through standardization of processes and procedures.
The CMMS Answer
To begin to adequately address health and safety issues, the commitment must be continuous and specifically tailored to the company. Although making health and safety a top priority will usually involve large upfront costs, the investment will certainly pay major dividends over time. When establishing a health and safety program for the maintenance department, it is important to have the capacity to record, track and manage key information. This happens to be the main advantage of having a CMMS. To understand how this CMMS advantage is related to health and safety, consider the following features, which enable you to reduce the overall cost of questionable or non-existent health and safety procedures:
Employee safety records
The employee module allows for the input of individual employee safety and illness records in the employee log. For example, has an employee suffered a particular kind of accident or illness? This kind of information is key as it allows for the creation of a facility-wide health and safety record that can be used to comply with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) standards as well as regulations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
The employee module also allows for the user to input each employee’s safety training and skills. This enables those in charge of maintenance and personnel to keep track of what skills exist and what skills need to be acquired at the level of the employee, as well as at the level of the individual asset. That way, training and skill deficiencies (certification and the need for recertification) can be flagged and tracked and the right person can be chosen for the job. Managers received notifications for employee certifications that are due to expire, automatically from the CMMS, allowing them time to retrain their staff.
Certain assets, like a grinder or belt saw, require specific safety procedures that can be easily forgotten or unknown if multiple and/or new users are assigned. In these types of scenarios, a refresher video on safety procedures may be necessary before commencing a job. The CMMS allows for the storing and cataloging of video files with particular assets as well as attaching them to work orders electronically. Even if these work orders are printed up, notes can be made on them about what safety video is required and where it can be found.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Health and safety issues cannot be properly addressed without the establishment of standard operating procedures. A CMMS can help you to implement these SOPs by allowing you to associate them with particular assets, work orders or tasks. These written or graphical SOPs can then be accessed (or printed) for the safe completion of work orders, tasks and preventative maintenance.
As useful as SOPs may be, their more practical companion is safety checklists. With these, employees or technicians can enter data and complete tasks in reference to the checklist, which ensures safety procedures were respected and a record of compliant maintenance is created. A CMMS can automatically log safety-related steps to each work order. For example, you may have a back-to-production safety checklist, such as visual inspections, tool count, interlock check etc. This can be automatically added to each work order through the task manager tool in the CMMS.
Materials Safety Data
If compliance with OSHA or comparable regulation is a factor for your company, our CMMS allows you to ensure the safe handling and documentation of any hazardous materials or substances you use. This data can be integrated into SOPs or attached to work orders or tasks in the file section.
It is useful to clearly indicate to planners any health and safety concerns associated with particular work orders, tasks or assets. Our CMMS allows for the flagging of assets according to safety priority codes. This allows the planner to quickly and efficiently allocate work.
Disclaimer – None of the information above is legal advice and it should not be taken as such.