Does incorporating technology to improve safety in your manufacturing site seem…well, challenging?

You aren’t alone.

“Tech in safety has been a challenge. Not just for us, but for many industry partners,” says Michial Autry, Manager, Environment, Health, and Safety at Mohawk.

In his role, Michial works to protect, equip, and empower employees and other key stakeholders to be as safe as possible each day at Mohawk’s Saybrook, Ohio converting and distribution center.

Mohawk is a fourth-generation, family-owned manufacturing firm that serves the creative needs of designers, brand-owners, and printers in more than 60 countries.

With a self-described “tell me why” mindset, Michial had that same approach—“Tell me why we would benefit from this?”—when it came to using technology to improve safety.

Keep reading to see how his perspective has shifted, and how technology can, and ought to be, leveraged in a manufacturing facility.

Using Technology Will Speed Up Your Communication

During part one of our blog series with Michial, we talked about what happens in a positive safety culture when they get an inquiry or a visit from a regulatory agency.

In most companies, that’s going to garner a lot of attention from workers. It’s what happens next that can greatly benefit from technology, says Michial. “iReportSource speeds up the communication, as the information regarding the event is already in place—complete and concise. That allows us to quickly communicate, and provide any information required without having to pull paper files, assemble all the notes and statements, and then create a separate narrative version,” says Michial.

“In iReportSource, the information we need is going to be right there, complete, and ready to go. iReportSource allows multiple eyes on that data, in real-time, during any investigation process and all the follow-up and corrective actions phases.  So if we get questions we need to answer, it can be just another day in the office because we are prepared with the correct reporting tools.”

using ireportsource in a manufacturing facility

Using Technology Can Streamline Safety Processes Where They Should Be Streamlined

Another part of that, “Tell me why this is beneficial?” question Michial had was answered by the challenges that come with paper reporting.

“My challenge with paper reporting and reviews was simply the time it took to get an answer, a clarification, or a task completed. iReportSource has amped that speed up, and turned something that may take hours, into something that takes just a few minutes,” says Michial.

For example, previously, if he had a question, he’d go out to the floor, find the investigator, do a walk through, and then perhaps duplicate the work that had already been done. “Now if I see a gap, I assign it as a task, and make a note on the case report, and nothing falls by the wayside.”

Using Technology Puts Safety in the Hands of Your Team Members

safety as a priorityMichial says one of the most fundamental reasons they have such a strong safety culture at Mohawk is how safety is always a priority. That’s not just to meet standards, but because it’s the right thing to do.

It’s a value of the company, and an investment in EHS technology which helps equip and empower team members in their work each day aligns with that value and priority.

A few examples of how technology can help put safety in the hands of team members each day include:

  • If an incident does occur, workers need the ability to collect all needed information quickly, accurately, and consistently. The right people can and should be involved, immediately. With iReportSource, this is made possible and workers are guided through prompts to collect as much data as possible.
  • Technology can empower you to be able to assign corrective actions and follow-up, two steps that are critical in permanently implementing a solution.
  • iReportSource keeps teams on track (and reminded) of EVERY training requirement and associated deadlines.
  • Technology can ensure all safety documents employees are accessing area ALWAYS the most up-to-date version.
  • Employees see an issue? Technology in their hands allows them to easily report it – and know it will be addressed.

Using Technology Can Ensure You’re Continuously Improving Safety

Technology can also ensure you really know what’s happening in your facility and it can help you know exactly what you can do to reduce risks and drive meaningful change for continuous improvement, says Michial.

An effective dashboard might include things like this, at minimum:

  • Total savings costs
  • Number of safety trainings completed
  • JSAs completed
  • Types of near misses (and more data on that)
  • Costs avoided
  • TCIR
  • DART
  • LTIR
  • OSHA Recordable Types

Not only that, an effective, actionable dashboard gives you insight into financial savings and opportunities, leading and lagging indicators connected to safety, learnings and growth opportunities, and much more, depending on your specific manufacturing site. “Already I am dependent on the information. Our reports no longer say the employee needs to get better, we can now find out what really happened and drive change. That is what iReportSource does for us,” says Michial.

“If you want to start on the path to readiness, get a solid platform like iReportSource and less will get past you or fall through the cracks in a day filled with busy business.”

leading and lagging indicators

An example of how an iReportSource dashboard can show data that leads to meaningful changes that reduce and minimize risk.

Start Using a Safety App to Improve Safety

Managing safety with paper, email, and excel alone is a thing of the past. iReportSource can have a true impact to your business in terms of cost, time, and action.

Making the switch to a manufacturing safety app can be easy… IF it’s the right solution. Ultimately, you will achieve better safety results if you ditch paper for an app that puts safety into the hands of your team members. Learn more about managing “everyday safety” and all the data that goes with it.