MRO Q&A: Linking Health and Safety to Productivity

Dec. 7, 2011
MRO Q&A is a Food Processing series addressing maintenance, repair and operational issues in food plants.

Q. How can I link my operation's health and safety measures to our performance and productivity measures to create a clearer picture for management of how these two measurement groupings are interrelated?

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A. Most manufacturing organizations are very good at presenting to senior management the block flows of their operations. These diagrams are often presented in a way that clearly outlines the various processing flows and the types of equipment or process operations/technology required. They also usually lay out the inputs required and the output expected, clearly identifying the space requirements for staging raw material and storing finished product. With this overall picture in mind management can more clearly relate to the critical operational process measurements needed to define a successful on-going manufacturing operation.

Over the past several years, organizations have started to overlay this presentation with a human work flow diagram that focuses on the primary work effort required for each of these operational steps. Then they highlight the various predominant types of injuries, or illness creating factors, related to each of these work flow areas creating a health and safety risk assessment profile. This in turn allows senior management to see the critical human interface area and the associated health and safety issues that directly relate to achieving the operational objectives.

Once these health and safety issues have been defined in this manner, make a few charts linking health and safety training measurements and performance with corresponding results in output improvements. This will clearly demonstrate the very important relationship between these two measurement groupings.