“Safety DOES impact the bottom line, in more ways than one,” says Dan Junker of Automation Rangers, Inc. and Safety Center, Inc. Automation Rangers is primarily a consulting company focused on helping clients with safety programs, risk assessments, troubleshooting, validation, design specification, Standards training, and more. Automation Rangers’ areas of emphasis are Robot, Crane and Material Handling Safety, and they are adept at applying software to safety and validating a product or application.

Safety Center, Inc. developed the first easy to use, task-based risk assessment software with field audit, collaboration, verification and validation modules built in.

We sat down with Junker, a TuV Nord Certified Machine Safety Expert and a leading expert in innovative safety automation technology, to talk about what leaders should know about safety management today. Here are 4 insights from Junker.

1. A safe workplace is a collaborative workplace

It’s no secret that workplace injuries and illnesses can have a major impact on an employer’s bottom line. But companies can also generate profit from safety when they equip teams to collaborate to improve safety.

“For example, often, discussion of [certain] tasks and their associated hazard(s) is an eye opener for everyone involved,” says Junker, adding that this brings up opportunities to drive innovation or problem-solving for a business.

“Second, a strictly compliant approach to Task Based Risk Assessment, when properly implemented, will lead to improvements in the bottom line, because the process requires input from the safety team, and that means company verticals are working together and not ‘siloed,’” explains Junker.

“Profit comes from asking the operator, maintenance person, or set up person on an automated system for their input,” explains Junker. Collaboration throughout the process often leads to respect, inclusion, and buy-in, greatly reducing troubleshooting, and cutting down on the need for additional modifications when production should be in full gear.

2. Safety is always by design

“Safety is most effective when implemented in the conceptual phase and throughout the life cycle of the machine or process,” says Junker. “The best way to deliver a machine or process ready for production is to include safety methodology in concept, design, pilot test, assembly and validation. Collaboration is at the heart of this effort,” he says. That’s part of why this approach is embraced by Fortune 100 companies across the globe.

3. Make sure your company knows the value of safety in business strategy

The reasons for poor safety practices are always rooted with money and a lack of understanding of why safety pays, says Junker. If this sounds like your company, consider doing an audit by a safety professional well versed in the processes your organization uses.

Ideally, being able to evaluate your safety program and culture, safeguards, and related protective measures will help you argue for a budget that can help support safety.

4. Safety starts with respect

The common thread among high-performing cultures that use safety standards as guidelines includes strong teamwork and respect across all staff—leaders, employees, and contract workers. This also means that leadership is willing to equip everyone on the team with tools that allow them to all participate in safety. ”And at the heart of those teams, the main focus must be safety,” emphasizes Junker.

Empower your people to be safe

“Respect your people enough to openly engage in safety and the reward will be unbelievable,” he adds.

Leaders can also create a safety team, if they haven’t already, that includes every single position in the company. “If safety is at the heart of your company culture, your workers will not only look after themselves, but one another, and the company as well.”

Are You Prioritizing Safety As A Team?

Know the ROI of safety, and that you can make safety a profit center, says Junker. “If you look after your people, they will respect you, take ownership, and help you. Whatever your position in the company, either working on the factory floor or as CEO, if you feel alone then your company is doing something wrong.”

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