Product Focus: Plant safety

Trends in ... plant safety

Embracing tracking technology

Is safety tracking software the name of the game for new technology designed for plant safety? “Everything is geared towards not only streamlining information, but also maintaining information in a way that saves time, reduces deficiencies, removes error-prone paper-based processes, and provides tracking and reporting capabilities,” said Heather Marenda, client services engagement manager for Milwaukee-based Brady Worldwide Inc.

Todd Grover, global senior manager, applied safety solutions, for Oak Creek, WI-based Master Lock Co. LLC, agrees. “We are seeing great value being placed on information technologies that create trackable safety performance data,” he said.

Grover also pointed to advancements in lockout application performance tracking, which provides workers with immediate access to their employer’s lockout procedures. “All these inputs allow management to track and report on the ongoing efficacy of their hazardous energy control program,” he said.

Although embracing tracking software can benefit employers, Marenda cautions that management needs to understand the advanced technology they are taking on. “Roadblocks to implementation often occur when companies decide to invest in new technology without considering who is going to use it and the level of internal knowledge and training required to fully implement,” she said.

Sound advice

Not enough time is spent on risk assessment or job safety analysis, according to Grover. “In so many accident cases, it comes down to the injured worker not knowing the hazard exposure existed, underestimating their exposure or perceiving there was tolerance for a substandard method of performing the task,” he said. Grover recommends having a clear planning process in place to begin with.

Coming next month … 
Protective clothing

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association