Toyota’s massive Kentucky auto plant has integrated maintenance into its overall safety scheme. Here’s how they did it, and how you can, too.
Yesterday’s Advisor began a discussion on the role of maintenance workers in workplace safety.
These workers are positioned at a kind of crossroads of safety, our article maintained. As they literally get inside the machinery of production, they’re perfectly situated to issue early warnings of safety issues starting to develop, and to take early action to reverse the problems. But poorly managed or trained, maintenance workers can do more harm than good … by improperly caring for the machinery or even disabling safety features such as machine guards in reassembly.
To see one organization that’s gotten the role of maintenance in safety right, visit Georgetown, Kentucky, home of the giant Toyota plant that builds 400,000+ Camry and related models sold in the U.S. each year. According to reporting in BLR’s twice-monthly print newsletter, OSHA Compliance Advisor, maintenance plays a major role in the plant’s safety program.
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“Our key approach has been to increase proactive maintenance and decrease reactive maintenance for both productivity and safety reasons,” says Ed Welch, the plant’s manager for maintenance and engineering. “Unlike an unplanned (reactive) failure, a planned outage offers an opportunity to restore machinery and the safety procedures that need to be considered.”
To get the most in safety enhancement from the maintenance process, the Georgetown plant:
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For More Reporting Like This…
If you find this pattern of reporting—raising a major safety issue, such as the role of maintenance in safety, and following it by a case study of how to make it work, appealing, you may want to take a more extensive look at the newsletter that did this reporting, OSHA Compliance Advisor. Safety professionals have depended on it for nearly two decades. Among the features it presents twice every month:
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