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How safe is your food processing workforce?

By Jenni Spinner+

17-Dec-2013
Last updated on 18-Dec-2013 at 09:33 GMT

Rockwell Automation's Safety Maturity Index helps manufacturers self-assess their internal safety plans.
Rockwell Automation's Safety Maturity Index helps manufacturers self-assess their internal safety plans.

Rockwell Automation has launched an online tool to help managers assess the exposure to their workers and optimize their safety programs.

The Safety Maturity Index (SMI) is a web-based self-assessment program that enables food processors, packaging firms and other manufacturing operations to determine the fitness of their individual safety plans.

The tool, created by Rockwell and launched in November, is designed to help plants of any size, in any country, see where gaps lie and implement improvements where needed.

Gauging safety

Mark Eitzman, safety market development manager, Rockwell Automation, said the SMI provides food plant managers with an easy, accessible way to implement “best-in-class” safety practices.

“The benefits of optimizing safety through the SMI assessment can result in fewer injuries and fines, as well as improved plant productivity, greater efficiencies and enhanced employee morale,” he said.

Breaking it down

The assessment tool breaks down the keys to a safe workplace into three separate areas, including culture (behavioral), compliance (procedural) and capital (technical). According to Eitzman, each of these components are interdependent and equally crucial parts of an effective, sustainable safety program.

For example, a well-developed safety culture is likely to fail if the company fails to invest in safety-boosting technologies, such as automation.

The SMI tool measures each of the plan components in four categories: minimizing investment, attaining compliance, cost avoidance and operational excellence. Through responding to a series of questions, users can gauge exactly how their operation measures up in each area.

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