Efficient Plant June 2020 - 4

column | editorial

Safety Has
Gone Stealth
Gary L. Parr
Editorial Director

These days,
unseen safety
issues may be
more dangerous
than those that
are visible.

4

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

EP2006editorial.indd 4

B

ACK IN THE day, safety
was such a simple thing. You
followed injury-prevention
instructions from machinery manufacturers, trained maintenance people and
operators, identified safe and unsafe
areas on plant floors and installed
barriers/safety "paths" to keep those
without training away from dangers,
provided PPE and made sure everyone
involved wore the equipment when
needed, and extensively posted signs
and other visual warning devices.
Most important, you constantly
delivered the safety message to
all employees, made sure it was
priority one for everyone, and
enforced all rules and policies.
The result was safety became a
religion and, with some exceptions, on-the-job injuries
became minimal and the
number of days since the
last injury kept increasing. Basically, safety
could easily be seen,
heard, and managed.
That's no longer the case.
Safety has officially gone
stealth.
That doesn't mean you can
get sloppy with the safety basics,
but it does mean you have to
expand your definition. Safety
issues are no longer limited to
mistakes or carelessness on the plant
floor. They now involve unseen facets
such as your entire network/data system,
remote accessibility, and the moisture
droplets everyone emits when they
breathe and talk.
In this issue, as our way of participating in National Safety Month, we are

putting extra emphasis on safety. The
starting point is your emergency action
plan (p. 12). I'm making an assumption
that you have one and it's current. If you
haven't already, devote some serious
time to updating/expanding it to address
issues such as network hacking events
(p. 21) and pandemics. Make sure you
also look at electrical safety. There have
been several changes to the National
Electrical Code (p. 14) that will affect
you. Have you looked at your supply
chain lately and the impact it may have
on your enterprise safety (p. 6)?
Of course, we can't and haven't
ignored the biggest issue of the day; the
coronavirus pandemic. There aren't
enough available pages in this issue to
address that, so we've set up a section at
efficientplantmag.com/covid to provide
you with a steady stream of information
about the pandemic's impact on manufacturing. Visit that section regularly for
information about strategies, personal
safety, and new products designed to
help you keep workers healthy.
Also make a note to participate in our
upcoming webinar, "Protect Employees
from Pandemics and Other Biohazards."
It will be presented on Thursday, June 25,
at 2:00 p.m. ET. Learn more about the
webinar and registration on p. 11.
When the National Safety Council
first designated June as National Safety
Month, I'm sure they were primarily
focused on making people aware that
bad things happen when you fall off of
ladders, don't wear hardhats and goggles,
and put your hands inside of rotating
equipment. Today, unseen safety issues
require just as much, if not more, of our
attention. EP
gparr@efficientplantmag.com

JUNE 2020

5/29/20 10:04 AM


http://www.eefficientplantmag.com/covid http://www.cientplantmag.com http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant June 2020

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Efficient Plant June 2020 - Cover1
Efficient Plant June 2020 - Cover2
Efficient Plant June 2020 - 1
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Efficient Plant June 2020 - Cover3
Efficient Plant June 2020 - Cover4
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