Plant Engineering 2014 Safety Study: 9 workplace safety trends
According to the data in this report, the importance of safety on the manufacturing floor is more recognized now than in previous years by plant workers, resulting in fewer incidents and lower workers' compensation and insurance costs.
In September 2014, Plant Engineering surveyed members of its audience who were responsible for maintaining, implementing, and/or managing safety standards within their manufacturing facilities. The 2014 Safety study asked key questions on employee commitment to safety, program benefits, enforcing safety standards, on-site training, safety meetings, the affect on productivity, strategies and technologies used to implement safety, personal protective equipment, how facilities measure safety success, and challenges to managing safety.
Plant Engineering sees the following nine high-level findings to be important factors that are impacting the manufacturing industry today:
- 70% or more of operations and senior management personnel are very committed to safety in their facilities, and there is a notable increase in commitment from line workers since 2013.
- The work groups that feel the most safe in their daily tasks are plant management/corporate executives (81%), safety executives/managers (74%), and engineering personnel (68%).
- 98% of respondents believe their employees feel safe on the job, and 84% agreed that productivity has increased over time due to the implementation of safety programs.
- Safety audits (84%), establishing a safety committee (81%), and hosting regular safety meetings (81%) were the top three methods imposed by respondents’ facilities for enforcing safety.
- On average, respondents receive 21 hours of job-related safety training, 12 hours of ergonomics training, and 14 hours of first-aid or personal safety training per year.
- The majority of safety meetings are held on a monthly basis, and the most active contributors are safety executives/managers (69%), operations personnel (66%), line workers (64%), and maintenance personnel (64%).
- Just more than half of respondents reported that implementing safety programs has increased productivity at their facilities.
- More than 60% of facilities perform internal audits and/or implemented embedded safety controls in order to enforce safety.
- 89% measure their safety success based on the number of OSHA recordables and reportables, while another 55% look at their lowering workers’ compensation costs.
Amanda Pelliccione is director of research at CFE Media, Plant Engineering.