Attracting people to work (and stay) at your site means providing a workplace in which they feel safe. A safe industrial workplace means a safe production line.
On a production line, safety means light curtains, area sensors, placards, training, and hard guarding around potential hazards, absolutely. Safety also means designing a process that keeps people out of those areas in the first place.
Our home industry, electroplating and anodizing, historically required people near heavy racks of parts on hoist trolleys or automated transporters, dipping those parts into open topped acidic or alkaline liquids, then electrifying them. Electricity, chemistry, heavy moving machinery, and people, all in close proximity to each other is a safety scenario few other industries have to deal with regularly. In plating and anodizing, it’s business as usual. For decades, companies have been taking the people out of this equation to improve safety, while simultaneously improving reliability, quality, and throughput. Corrotec is at the forefront of this movement, whether designing/building new, or retrofitting existing.
A key tip in a new build or retrofitting existing equipment: bring your safety personnel into the project as early as possible. There are three major reasons to do so.
First, you’ll have experience on your side. An additional set of eyes responsible for safe operation, with past experience in what has (and has not) worked at your organization likely means a safer system, with more thought given to throughput with safety rather than throughput in spite of safety.
Second, it costs less to incorporate safety up front. You can establish important safety constraints, directives, and requirements early on. By knowing those critical factors up front, we can design for them, or find ways to eliminate problem areas all together. Bringing safety in late-or at the end of a project-often creates expensive re-designs and time consuming after-the-fact or ad-hoc safety equipment, which in turn can mean more downtime, less throughput, or equipment that is more difficult to service and maintain.
Third, you can use the Safety Budget. Stay with me; Safety often has its own budget. CAPEX budgets at many companies may only deal with operational costs and are often limited to ROI calculations. A safety budget will often pay for additional or plant-specific safety specifications that can make a difference in BOTH throughput (by limiting downtime) and safety.
So, bring the safety person in up front and design for safety early. It costs less, leads to a faster project completion, and likely a safer, better system for your organization. If you are the safety person, get involved early. You will no longer be the bad guy requiring significant after-the-fact changes and diminishing throughput (and therefore ROI), or needing to police manual, training, or policy-based ad-hoc safeties just to run the line.
Corrotec has been in this industry for forty years. Automating the machinery, chemical handling, and processes are an ever-growing part of our business. As people who have been on, around, over, and under industrial machinery, we understand how important it is to keep employees out of certain areas while the system is running or during maintenance, and we design our systems with that in mind.
Designing for safety up-front costs less and often improves the outcome of your equipment.
Call us to discuss; we are here to solve problems. Together.