Guide to Optimal Maintenance & Reliability--Current Trends and Practices [part 1]

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"Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything"

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Terminology
  • 3 Energy Management, Sustainability, and the Green Initiative
  • 4 Personnel, Facility, and Arc Flash Safety
  • 5 Risk Management
  • 6 Corrosion Control
  • 7 Systems Engineering and Configuration Management
  • 8 Standards and Standardization
  • 9 Summary
  • 10 Quiz

Learning goals:

• Why M&R leaders should worry about energy and sustainability or "being green"

• What M&R leaders should do about safety and, more specifically, arc flash safety

• How we go about managing the risks around us

• What is meant by corrosion control

• The effects of standards and standardization on your organization

• What exactly are systems engineering and configuration management

1. Introduction

As stated in the previous section, businesses must continually improve processes to remain competitive. One key means to accomplishing this is through awareness of current trends and innovative best practices as they enter the maintenance and reliability industry. Section 12 captures a few of these trends and practices and briefly discusses how they might apply in the areas of energy and sustainability, safety, risk management, corrosion control, systems engineering/configuration management, and standards. Of course, as with any trend or practice, further investigation is necessary to understand not only the context in which a particular industry or business is applying these trends and practices, but also how these trends and practices could be applied and implemented to your own organization.

2. Terminology

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

A not-for-profit, non-government organization which develops and publishes standards for almost the entire U.S. industry; its standards-setting procedure provides a forum for discussion among academics, special interest groups, users, and vendors; an ANSI standard, though termed voluntary, carries a lot of clout in the United States and elsewhere.


The arrangement and contour of the physical and functional characteristics of a system, equipment, and related hardware or software. It also includes controlling and documenting changes made to the functional characteristics and layout Configuration Management

A discipline applying technical and administrative direction and surveillance to identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of an asset / system called a configuration item; control changes to those characteristics; and record and report changes.


Gradual alteration, degradation, or eating away of a metal due to a chemical or electrochemical reaction between it and its environment.

Green Energy

A type of energy that is considered to be environmentally friendly and non-polluting, such as hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar power.

Hazard A condition that is prerequisite to a mishap and a contributor to the effects of the mishap.

Hazardous Material

Any substance that is listed as corrosive, harmful, irritant, reactive, toxic, or highly toxic.


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.


An unplanned event or series of events resulting in death, injury, occupational illness, or damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment.


A method that eliminates or reduces the consequences, likelihood, or effects of a hazard or failure mode; a hazard control.

Personnel Protection Equipment (PPE)

Safety equipment issued to help employees in protecting them selves from the hazards of their work environments. PPE includes fire retardant or chemical-proof clothing, gloves, hard hats, respirators, safety glasses, etc.


A future event that has some uncertainty of occurrence and negative consequence if it were to occur.

Risk Assessment

The determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized threat (also called hazard). Quantitative risk assessment requires calculations of two components of risk: consequence, the magnitude of the potential loss, and likelihood, the probability that the loss will occur.

Risk Disposition

One of several different ways to address identified risk.

Risk Index (Magnitude) Consequence (impact) of risk event X's probability of occurrence.

Risk Management

A continuous process that is accomplished throughout the life cycle of a system to:

• Identify and measure the unknowns.

• Develop mitigation options.

• Select, plan, and implement appropriate risk mitigations.

• Track the implementation of risk mitigations to ensure successful risk reduction.

Risk Type

One of several risk attributes: residual, transferred, assumed, avoided.


The ability to maintain a certain status or process in existing systems; in general refers to the property of being sustainable; capacity to endure.


The act of determining that a product or process, as constituted, will fulfill its desired purpose.


The process of assuring that a product or process, as constituted, complies with the requirements specified for it.

3 Sustainability, Energy Management, and the Green Initiative

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability in general refers to the property of being sustainable.

The widely accepted definition of sustainability or sustainable development was given by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987. It defined sustainable development as "forms of progress that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." Over the past 25 years, the concept of sustainability has evolved to reflect perspectives of both the public and private sectors. A public policy perspective would define sustainability as the satisfaction of basic economic, social, and security needs now and in the future without undermining the natural resource base and environmental quality on which life depends. From a business perspective, the goal of sustainability is to increase long-term shareholder and social value, while decreasing industry's use of materials and reducing negative impacts on the environment.

Common to both the public policy and business perspectives is the recognition of the need to support a growing economy while reducing the social and economic costs of economic growth. Sustainable development can foster policies that integrate environmental, economic, and social values in decision making. From a business perspective, sustainable development favors an approach based on capturing system dynamics, building resilient and adaptive systems, anticipating and managing variability and risk, and earning a profit. Sustainable development reflects not the trade off between business and the environment but the synergy between them.

Practically, sustainability refers to three broad themes, also called pillars, of sustainability: economic, social and environmental. They must all be coordinated and addressed to ensure the long-term viability of our community and the planet. The sustainability issue has emerged as a result of significant concerns about the unintended social, environmental, and economic consequences of rapid population growth, economic growth, and the increasing consumption of our natural resources. When considering existing or new individual, business, industrial and community practices or projects, one must ensure that economic, social, and environmental benefits are achieved. Each person, business, and industry has a role and a responsibility to ensure their individual and collective actions sup port the sustainability of our community.

This also means that we must preserve our resources in such a way that human beings in the future can enjoy them as well. To achieve this, we must regenerate our resources at a rate that is equal to or faster than our consumption.

Social sustainability stems from the fact that multiple cultures and societies all share and inhabit the same planet. These cultures may be different in their histories, backgrounds, and beliefs, but each brings a different perspective to the world around them. Therefore, considering the social side of resources (whether they be land or other physical resources) must play a part into the overall sustainability equation.

Environmental sustainability is important because it involves natural resources that human beings need for economic or manufactured capital.

Materials taken from nature are used for solutions that address human needs. If nature is depleted faster than it can regenerate, human beings will be left without raw materials. Furthermore, environmental sustain ability also involves ensuring that waste emissions are at volumes that nature can handle. If not, many humans and other living things on Earth may be harmed to the point of extinction.

Sustainability is really based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations.

6 Easy Ways to Make a Big Difference in Sustainability

To ensure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment, we need to be aware of sustainability challenges. With these concerns in mind we, as individuals and as M&R professionals, can act on our own even if a large scale effort is needed. Our own individual actions can make a real difference. Below are a few actions we can turn into habits so that we can start to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.

1. Reduce what we buy and what we use. Manufacturing uses up precious natural resources. Everything that we own comes from raw materials that were once part of the earth. Every object in our household made an impact on the environment when it was stripped from the earth and produced. Choosing to buy less is obvious as a sustainable strategy, but is not always practical.

Sometimes the best choice is to buy well-made and durable items made with environmentally-friendly material.

2. Save on electricity-energy. Most electricity is generated using fossil fuels. This makes electrical generation one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gasses to the ecosystem. By using less electricity we can reduce these emissions. There are lots of ways to reduce electrical consumption such as using energy efficient appliances, devices, and processes in the plants. (Reducing and managing energy consumption will be discussed in more detail later in this section.)

3. Generate less waste. Everything we throw away goes some where. Reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills is an excellent way of protecting the environment. Recycling and reusing also reduce what we need to throw away.

4. Reduce water resources. Water is one of the most precious resources on our planet. Take care of leaking taps, pipes, and toilets. Turn off faucets that are running unnecessarily. Find ways to reduce the use of water in our processes. Water that has been used in bathing or washing can also be reused as gray water.

5. Minimize or eliminate need of hazardous material. In our homes and plants, we use a lot of hazardous - environmentally bad material such Freon, TCE - trichloroethylene, paints-sol vents, etc. We need to replace that material with environmentally friendly material.

6. Choose greener transportation anytime it’s feasible. When we can reduce or eliminate the greenhouse emissions produced by an internal combustion engine, we can help in reducing greenhouse emissions. Taking advantage of public transportation, carpooling, and riding a bike to work are all geared toward postponing the day when fossil fuels and life as we know it may be gone.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has acted primarily as the United States' environmental watchdog, striving to ensure that industries met legal requirements to control pollution. In subsequent years, the EPA began to develop theory, tools, and practices that enabled it to move from controlling pollution to preventing it. Today the EPA aims to make sustainability the next level of environmental protection by drawing on advances in science and technology to protect human health and the environment, and promoting innovative green business practices.

Key Government Regulations and Practices

Executive Order 13423: "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management" of 2007 set policy and specific goals for federal agencies to "conduct their environmental, transportation, and energy-related activities under the law in support of their respective missions in an environmentally, economically and fiscally sound, integrated, continuously improving, efficient, and sustainable manner."

Executive Order 13514: "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance" of 2009 enhances EO 13423 "to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) a priority for Federal agencies."

The Federal Government Sustainability website includes the latest information from federal agencies relevant to developing and maintaining sustainable facilities and to developing and promoting sustainable practices within their environmental programs.

Greening EPA. EPA implements a wide range of programs to reduce the environmental impact of its facilities and operations, from building new, environmentally sustainable structures to improving the energy efficiency of older buildings.

The Cost of Energy

Energy costs can have a significant impact on the financial performance of businesses. A recent poll taken by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) revealed that over 90% of small and medium-sized manufacturing companies believe that higher energy prices are having a negative impact on their bottom line. In fact, the energy crisis of 2008 caused many businesses to go under. As a result, organizations are reviewing and updating energy plans to reduce their energy usage.

Throughout the manufacturing process, energy is lost due to equipment inefficiency and mechanical and thermal limitations. Optimizing the efficiency of these systems can result in significant energy and cost savings and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. Understanding how energy is used and wasted-or energy use and loss footprints-can help plants pin point areas of energy intensity and ways to improve efficiency. Substantial opportunities exist to reduce energy wasted in the industrial and service sectors. Organizations are affected directly by the energy cost of manufacturing products, maintaining operations - including offices and receiving raw materials - and delivering finished goods to the customers.

Energy use can also have significant environmental cost. Onsite combustion of fuels in boilers, ovens, vehicles, and equipment can emit a variety of regulated pollutants, including carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and a variety of airborne toxins. Combustion pollutant emissions can affect worker health, and trigger the need for costly permitting, monitoring, and emission controls. More broadly, reducing air emissions from combustion activities as well as the safe storage and handling of fuels, spent fuel, and other fluids can help protect not only workers but also neighboring communities and public health.

Energy is a vital and often costly input to most production processes and value streams. Think unnecessary energy usage as another "deadly waste," and develop plans to eliminate or reduce it to achieve energy and environmental excellence. Benefits of Energy Management are:

• Reduced operating and maintenance costs

• Reduced vulnerability to energy and fuel price increases

• Enhanced productivity

• Improved safety

• Improved employee morale and commitment

• Improved environmental quality

• Reduced greenhouse gas emissions

• Remain below air permitting emission thresholds

• Increased overall profit

Energy Sources and End Usage

The energy supply chain begins with electricity, steam, natural gas, coal, and other fuels supplied to a manufacturing plant from off-site power plants, gas companies, and fuel distributors. Energy then flows to either a central energy generation utility system or is distributed immediately for direct use. Industrial energy systems account for roughly 80% of all energy used by the industry. On average, 35% of that energy is lost every year due to inefficient processes and waste. As much as 50 % of this could be saved by improving the efficiency and reducing energy losses in these systems. Energy is then processed using a variety of highly energy-intensive systems, including steam, process heating, and motor-driven equipment such as compressed air, pumps, and fans. Industrial energy systems are categorized by the Department of the Energy (DOE) in much the same way:

1. Steam

2. Process Heat

3. Motors, pumps and fans

4. Compressed air


Over 45% of all the fuel burned is consumed to raise steam. Steam is used to heat raw materials and treat semi-finished products. It’s also a power source for equipment, as well as for building heat and electricity generation. Many manufacturing facilities can recapture energy through the installation of more efficient steam equipment and processes. The whole system must be considered to optimize energy and cost savings.

Process Heating

Process heating is vital to nearly all manufacturing processes, supplying heat needed to produce basic materials and commodities. Heating processes consume nearly 20% of all industrial energy use. Advanced technologies and operating practices offer significant savings opportunities to reduce process heating costs.

Motors, Pumps and Fans

Motor-driven equipment accounts for about 65% of the electricity consumed in the industrial sector. Within the nation's most energy-intensive industries-improvements to motor systems could yield dramatic energy and cost savings. The key to these savings is applying energy-efficiency equipment or implementing sound energy management practices.

Compressed Air

The compressed air systems account for an estimated $5 billion per year in energy costs in the U.S. industrial sector. Many industries use compressed air systems as power sources for tools and equipment used for pressurizing, atomizing, agitating, and mixing applications. The major source of waste for this type of energy is leakage. Many users at the shop floor believe the myth that air is free or costs very little. Optimization of compressed air systems can provide energy efficiency improvements of 20%-50%.

Although the predominant energy sources used in industry are natural gas and electricity, industry also uses other energy sources, such as fuel oil, for producing heat. Some facilities have on-site co-generation, where they combust a fuel (e.g., natural gas, waste oil, or scraps) to produce heat and electricity. Understanding the energy end usage -what work we use the energy to do-reveals more useful information to identify opportunities for improving efficiency and reducing costs. In an office setting, end uses primarily include heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, and operation of appliances and computers. In an industrial plant, end uses primarily include process equipment operation, process heating and cooling, transportation, HVAC, and lighting.

Understanding the costs of energy use can raise awareness of the potential value of identifying and eliminating energy waste. The costs of energy use are not always visible to production/operations managers because they are rolled up into facility overhead costs, rather than assigned to production areas. Explicitly tracking costs associated with individual processes or equipment can encourage energy conservation.

Walkthrough Practice to Observe Energy Usage

Walkthrough assessments and observing processes as they actually run at a facility can be a simple, but effective way to identify waste and find improvement opportunities. During the walkthrough, look for signs of unnecessary or inefficient energy use. An IR camera and an Ultrasonic leak detector gun are good to identify hot/cold spots and leaks. Any number of questions could be asked about energy usage (with a few listed below according to categories):

Motors and Machines

1. Are machines left running when not in operation? If so, why?

2. Are energy efficient motors, pumps, and equipment used?

3. Are motors, pumps, and equipment sized according to their loads? Do motor systems use variable speed drive controls? Compressed Air

1. If compressed air is used, do we notice any leaks in the com pressed air system? When was the last air leak audit performed?

2. Do compressed air systems use the minimum pressure needed to operate equipment?

Process and Facility Heating and Cooling

1. Are oven and process heating temperatures maintained at higher levels than necessary?

2. Are work areas heated or cooled more than necessary?

3. Do employees have control over heating and cooling in their work areas?

4. Are exterior windows or doors opened to adjust heating and cooling? Lighting

1. Is lighting focused where we need it?

2. Is lighting controlled by motion sensors in warehouses, storage areas, and other areas that are intermittently used?

3. Are energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs used?

Energy Audits and Measuring Energy Usage

While a walkthrough is an excellent way to identify and fix energy waste that are readily apparent, we may be leaving energy savings on the table unless we examine energy use more closely. Two strategies for learning more about its use include:

1. Conduct an energy audit to understand how energy is used - and possibly wasted - across facility.

2. Measure the energy use of individual production and support processes.

An energy audit, sometimes referred to as an energy assessment, is a study of the energy end-uses and performance of a facility. Energy audits can range in complexity and level of detail, from a simple audit involving a facility walkthrough and review of utility bills, to a comprehensive analysis of historical energy use and energy-efficiency investment options. Energy audits allow managers to compare a plant's energy use to industry benchmarks and to identify specific energy savings opportunities. In many locations, local utilities provide energy audit services for free or at reduced cost.

Energy Reduction and Process Improvement Strategies

Many energy efficiency best practices can be implemented without extensive analysis or planning. In plant operations, several strategies can be employed to reduce energy usage such as:

1. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). Incorporate energy reduction best practices into day-to-day autonomous maintenance activities to ensure that equipment and processes run smoothly and efficiently.

2. Right-Sized Equipment. Replace oversized and inefficient equipment with smaller equipment tailored to the specific needs of manufacturing.

3. Plant Layout and Flow. Design or rearrange plant layout to improve product flow while also reducing energy usage and associated impacts.

4. Standard Work, Visual Controls, and Mistake-Proofing.

Sustain and support and energy performance gains through standardized work procedures and visual signals that encourage energy conservation.

More details are discussed below on a couple of these strategies.

Replace Over-Sized and Inefficient Equipment with Right-Sized Equipment

Process Improvement often results in the use of right-sized equipment to meet production needs. Right-sized equipment is designed to meet the specific needs of manufacturing or an individual process step, rather than the processing needs for an entire facility. For example, rather than relying on one large paint booth or parts cleaning tank station to service all painting and degreasing needs for a facility, Lean principles typically lead organizations to shift to right-sized paint and degreasing stations that are embedded in manufacturing cells.

In conventional manufacturing, equipment/systems often are over sized to accommodate the maximum anticipated demand. Because purchasing a new, large piece of equipment is often costly and time-consuming, engineers often design in additional "buffer capacity" to be sure that the equipment does not constrain the production. For example, a fan system is usually oversized. Ways in which it could be correctly sized to reduce energy are:

a. Use smaller, energy-efficient motors. Right-sizing a 75-horse power (hp) standard efficiency motor with a 60-hp energy-efficient motor will reduce motor energy consumption by about 25 percent or more.

b. Reduce fan speed by larger pulleys. Replacing an existing belt driven pulley with a larger one will reduce its speed, thereby saving energy costs. Reducing a fan's speed by 20 percent reduces its energy consumption by 50 percent.

c. Use of static pressure adjustment for variable air volume (VAV) systems. Reducing static pressure in VAV system reduces the fan power consumption. By gradually reducing the static pres sure set point to a level low enough to keep occupants comfort able, energy consumption can be reduced.

Design Plant Layout to Improve Flow and Reduce Energy Usage

Process improvement focuses on improving the flow of product through the production process. Arrange equipment and workstations in a sequence that supports a smooth flow of materials and components through the process, with minimal transport or delay. The desired outcome is to have the product move through production in the smallest, quickest possible increment (one piece). Improving the flow of product and process inputs can significantly reduce the amount of energy required to support a production process.

An example of a good design is to use large pipes and small pumps rather than small pipes and big pumps. Optimizing the whole system together will lead to dramatically decreased operating costs. The objective is to minimize friction losses.

In addition to explicitly using process methods to target energy wastes, facilities can take advantage of other opportunities for energy savings to install energy-efficient equipment, switch to less polluting fuel sources, and design products to use less energy. To be most effective, energy saving efforts should be proactive, strategic, and systematic to establish an energy management system that aligns with and supports the organization's initiatives to achieve the greatest improvements in operational, energy, and environmental performance.

Identifying and eliminating energy waste through process improvement including Lean and Green initiatives can improve an organization's ability to compete in several ways. For example, reducing the energy intensity of production activities and support processes directly lowers recurring operating costs with direct bottom line and competitiveness impacts.

There are three steps involved in developing an energy planning and management roadmap appropriate to any organization:

1. Initial Assessment. Consider the opportunities, risks, and costs associated with strategic energy management.

2. Design Process. Understand the organization's energy needs and identify the best way to establish an energy management plan.

3. Evaluate Opportunities. Identify and prioritize energy-related improvement opportunities, such as energy-efficiency actions, energy-supply options, and energy-related products and services.

Finally, a new energy management standard has been issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently. The standard known as ISO 50001:2011 establishes a framework to manage energy for industrial plants; commercial, institutional, or governmental facilities; or entire organizations. Targeting broad applicability across national economic sectors, it’s estimated that the standard could influence up to 60 % of the world's energy use.

Energy usage is often viewed as a necessary support cost of doing business, and energy-efficiency efforts can sometimes have difficulty competing for organizational attention with other operational needs. By linking energy management to Environmental / Green and Lean activities, energy-reduction efforts can be tied more directly to process improvement efforts that are regarded by senior managers as being vital to business success.

The Green Initiative

Green energy is a term used to describe sources of energy that are considered to be environmentally friendly and non-polluting, such as geothermal, wind, and solar power. These sources of energy may provide a remedy to the alleged effects of global warming and certain forms of pollution. They are generally more expensive than traditional energy sources, but can be purchased with the help of government subsidies.

Several working definitions used for green energy include:

• An alternate term for renewable energy

• Energy generated from sources which don’t produce pollutants (e.g., solar, wind, and wave energies)

• Energy generated from sources that are considered environmentally-friendly (e.g., hydro (water), solar (sun), biomass (landfill), or wind)

• Energy generated from sources that produce low amounts of pollution

• Energy that is produced and used in ways that produce relatively less environmental impact

The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is another initiative to reduce energy usage and environmental impact. GBI challenges state governments to demonstrate leadership in energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in state buildings, while also reducing the environmental impact state facilities have on our world.

GBI requires the state to reduce grid-based energy usage in its buildings 20% by 2015, and, in so doing, reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of fossil fuel-based power required to operate those same buildings.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and spear headed by LEED founding chairman, Robert K. Watson, LEED is intended to provide building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

A LEED-certified building uses significantly less energy and water, and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, than conventional construction. Many state and federal government agencies are mandated to meet a minimum of LEED Silver certification for new construction and major renovations of facilities larger than 10,000 square feet. In addition, smaller buildings are being designed to meet LEED standards. LEED certification is obtained after submitting an application documenting compliance with the requirements of the rating system as well as paying registration and certification fees. Certification is granted solely by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which is responsible for the third party verification of project compliance with LEED requirements. See the details at

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is a third-party organization that provides independent oversight of professional credentialing and project certification programs related to green building. GBCI is committed to ensuring precision in the design, development, and implementation of measurement processes for green building performance (through project certification) and green building practice (through professional credentials and certificates). Established in 2008 to administer certifications and professional designations within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® Green Building Rating Systems™, GBCI continues to develop new programs and offer the marketplace validation that building certifications and professional designations have met specific, rigorous criteria.

4 Personnel, Facility, and Arc Flash Safety

The Relationship of Safety and Reliability

Several reliability and safety experts have observed that reliable plants are safe plants and safe plants are reliable plants. Furthermore, safe and reliable plants are usually profitable plants. Safety and reliability have historically been considered two separate elements of the production operations system. Recently, both have been proven to be increasingly interrelated. In fact, safety is treated as the most important attribute in reliability analysis.

Ron Moore, a leading M&R expert and noted author, writes that there is a strong correlation - an inverse correlation coefficient of 0.87 - between OEE/Uptime and accident (injury) rate per 100 employees.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), a product of equipment avail ability, quality, and performance, is a key indicator of reliability and operational performance. This conclusion is based on his observation and data from many plants that he had visited for his consulting tours. A study by Batson, Ray, and Quan reported in the October 2000 issue of Reliability Magazine made similar observations. This study indicated that in the organizations where maintenance performance ratings have increased tenfold, injury frequency and severity have been reduced ten fold, in a nearly inverse linear fashion.

Another observation reported in PIMA's June 2003 conference in New York referred to a study by a major Pulp and Paper company that found the company was 28% more likely to have an incident when maintenance work was reactive versus work that was planned and scheduled before execution. The author's own observations conclude a strong correlation between safety incidents/injuries and reactive maintenance. In a reactive situation, we might not take the time we should to plan and think before we take action. The urgent nature of reactive work also pushes maintenance personnel to take risks they shouldn't be taking. These observations strongly imply that organizations that are reliable with excellent maintenance practices will have lower injury rates. The same behavior and practices that improve plant operations and reliability also reduce injuries. Therefore, those organizations with high reliability and safe operations will be more productive and profitable.

Creating a Safety Culture and a Culture That Cares

When Rosanne Danner, Vice President of Development for DuPont Safety Resources, was asked to describe her definition of a safety culture, she noted that she had once asked the same question to one of her colleagues. He replied, "What people do when no one is watching." There is certainly some truth to that. But if we step back and think about the word culture, it's about what people do, how they interact, and how they live day to day. When we apply it to safety, it moves beyond simply being a program and becomes part of one's being. A Safety culture doesn't just stay at the organization or workplace. It goes home with us. It's part of the fabric of who we are. For example, when I drive home, I automatically put on my seatbelt. I also make sure that my passengers wear their seatbelts.

I don’t use my cell phone when I am driving. These actions are all a natural extension of following a safety culture at work.

As we have discussed, reliability is not just the responsibility of the maintenance department, but is for everyone in the organization including operators, planners, supervisors, designers, material/store handlers, , and purchasing managers - and includes the organization's leadership team.

Similarly, safety is not just the responsibility of the safety department. It’s for every one of us to be responsible for our own and our coworker's safety. Leadership plays a key role in ensuring that we understand our role in keeping the workplace safe. Safety and reliability - a good steward ship of our resources - should be part of an organization's core values.

The leadership should become a role model by doing, not just talking.

Consider a scenario where we are walking to attend a meeting in the plant area. On the way, we find a puddle of water or oil spill on the shop floor near an assembly area. Should we stop and take care of this spill before somebody else slips and gets hurt? We’re already late to the meeting. We could just keep going and hope that somebody will take care of this spill. What should we do?

It's simple. STOP! Get somebody to take care of this potential hazard before proceeding to the meeting. Yes, we will be late. It's OK. Apologize to the meeting group and tell them the truth - the reason for being late.

Also, on the way back, ensure that the hazard has been taken care of and somebody is finding out its root cause. That's safety culture.

Instituting a safety culture must begin at the top of the organization.

However, all employees have a responsibility to follow procedures and think about how they do their work. Usually, we start with an organization in the reactive stage, where employees are reacting to incidents instead of thinking about how to prevent or eliminate them. Once employees begin to view safety as something important to them and something which they value, they move to the independent stage. This is where they are practicing safety because they want to do it, not because they are being told to do it. The ultimate goal is the interdependent stage when every employee is looking out for the other. It's a "brother's keeper" mentality. At this stage, any employee should be comfortable to call out a safety issue to the point where they will stop a production line if they see a problem, or challenge a manager who , for example, isn't wearing a hard hat.

The State of Montana has done a unique thing to create a safety culture. A Safety Culture Act was enacted in 1993 by the Montana state legislature to encourage workers and employers to come together to create and implement a workplace safety philosophy. The intent of this act is to raise workplace safety awareness to a preeminent position in the minds of all of Montana's workers and employers. It becomes the responsibility and duty of the employers to participate in the development and implementation of safety programs that will meet the specific needs of their workplace - thereby establishing a safety culture that will help to create a safe work environment for all future generations of Montanans.

A Safety Process Model

Adhering to a simple process model is another highly effective component of an overall strategy for improving the safety in an organization.

The model below focuses on four aspects of safety:

1. Leadership. As stated earlier, leadership involvement is important. Leaders must lead and support the safety process whole heartedly. They must communicate the importance of safety as well as the value and respect they have for the people who work for them.

2. Personnel. Investing in people is paramount to success. The best organizations will first seek to hire the right people and then develop their capabilities and skill sets. Be sure to include questions about safety as part of the hiring process, to gain an under standing of a prospective employee's knowledge of safety, and to communicate your organization's commitment to safety.

3. Environment. It’s essential to ensure that the overall environment is safe, assets and systems are properly cared for, operating practices are adhered to, and engineering standards are followed.

Conduct a design safety review of all equipment from inception and a full ergonomic review before installation and continue annually after that. Establish extensive inspection programs to ensure compliance and be on the lookout for new technologies to reduce risk.

4. Behavior. Changing organizational behavior is what transforms an organization from good to world class. When passion for safety is driven by the leadership team, it filters down to the floor and will encourage workers to actively care about one another while fostering interdependence within the organization.

Turn Employees into Safety Leaders

To be successful, organizations should create career paths that turn employees into safety leaders by making sure that everyone is highly trained and motivated - not just to succeed, but to exceed expectations.

Workers should be mentored, to help them contribute to the safety process. The organization should also develop an environment and culture that supports the belief that every employee can create and maintain a workplace free of illness and injury. The result of this investment will be establishing within workers a sense of ownership of the safety process and a shift within the organization from an independent to an interdependent culture. This can help drive employees to eliminate unsafe behaviors and conditions and to focus on eliminating injuries entirely, rather than just meeting regulatory requirements.

According to OSHA, when a company's safety culture is strong, "everyone feels responsible for safety and pursues it on a daily basis; employees go beyond 'the call of duty' to identify unsafe conditions and behaviors, and intervene to correct them." Consider posting the following safety principles throughout the plant / facility to remind employees of the importance organization places on safety:

1. Any person can and must confront unsafe behaviors and conditions. No one is authorized to disregard such a warning.

2. No one is expected to perform any function or accept any direction that they believe is unsafe to themselves or others, or creates an unsafe situation, regardless of who directs such an action.

3. Anyone who feels that a process is unsafe will shut down that process and work with appropriate team members to create a safe situation.

An organization's greatest asset is its employees, and protecting them from illnesses or workplace injuries is critical to success. Operating an injury-free facility is no longer a dream. In many workplaces, it has become a reality - and not just for a year, but for several years running.

Creating a workplace that is free of illness and injury begins with one crucial decision: making safety a core value.

Many organizations such as DuPont, Kimberly-Clark, Harley Davidson, General Mills, Milliken, and Jacobs Engineering have created a safety culture in their organizations. They have been able to reduce their injury and incident rate below 1 per 100 employees. In fact, their goal is zero injury. Jacobs calls this new initiative "Beyond Zero" to create a

"Culture of Caring." These results can be attributed to a culture that embraces safety and empowers employees to maintain a commitment to safety in everything they do. The key to this success is establishing a safety-based culture that starts at the top.

In a recent talk at the IMC (International Maintenance Conference), Bart Jones, Director of Facilities O&M with ATA-Jacobs at Arnold Engineering and Development (Test) Center, explained his view of the culture of caring this way

"...when my work family members (employees) go home each day, I want them to be in better shape, not just physically but mentally too, than when they came to work. Work is very important, but it's not the most important thing in our lives....

"This can only be achieved when we think of our work family just like we think of our spouse, parents, children or grandparents. When we start asking ourselves if we would want our daughter in the current work environment or if we'd send our grandmother on the next task we're about to per form, then we've really achieved what the Culture of Caring is all about - respect, treating each other as family, and truly caring about all aspects of the folk's lives that we work with and the ramifications of our decisions on those lives. That translates to a whole new outlook on how we approach reliability, safety, and maintainability among many other areas.

We'll begin to look at designing equipment with safety and maintainability (ergonomics) in mind. We'll evaluate our operations and maintenance processes and procedures to ensure we don't take un-necessary risks. And we'll ensure our folks understand that we all take responsibility for each other." Bart takes this subject very passionately. It's evident when he talks about it and in his actions on the programs he runs for ATA-Jacobs. He speaks from the heart because of personal experience. He lost his 23-year old brother in an industrial accident and he knows first-hand how an injury affects a widespread net of friends and family for the rest of their lives.

According to DuPont's Rosanne Danner, of the most common reasons organizations fail to develop a safety culture are:

1. Lack of commitment from leadership and management. A safety culture has to start with the CEO setting the right vision of where we want to be. That person needs to say, "This is how we do work." Safety must be part of measuring performance. It's not profitability or safety - it's both. That commitment must extend down to line management. If line managers see something that is unsafe, and they don't call it out, and it happens a second time, then it becomes an acceptable way to do work. It becomes the new standard. If something is viewed as not being important to the manager, employees won't pay attention to it.

2. Inconsistency in how and where safety is applied. Management must put in place the right procedures and consistently follow them. They may start all internal and external meetings with a safety message or contact. This speaks to being constantly aware of a person's surroundings and thinking through actions that a person would take in a variety of possible scenarios.

3. Loss of focus. Instituting a safety culture is not an overnight proposition. If it’s done correctly, we may see a change in injury rate sooner, but it will take time to make it ingrained in an organization. We can't let the quick results trick us into losing our focus for the long term.

Implementing a safety policy for any organization should be a top priority. Employees should be encouraged to report any unsafe conditions right away and should be trained how to react in an emergency. The primary goal of a workplace safety policy is to establish the expectation that it’s the responsibility of all employees to create and maintain a safe work environment.

Arc Flash Hazards

One specific area of safety that should be considered by almost any organization that maintains their own electrical equipment is Arc Flash Safety. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveal that between 1992 and 2002, electrical accidents in the workplace caused 3,378 deaths and an addition al 46,598 non-fatal injuries. About 5% of all workplace deaths were related to electrical equipment. These statistics were validated in a second study involving more than 120,000 employees; this study determined that arc flash injuries accounted for the largest category of all recorded electrical injuries. Arc flash is responsible for a significant fraction of total electrical deaths and injuries.

As defined by IEEE and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), arc flash is a strong electric current - and sometimes a full blown explosion - that passes through air when insulation between energized conductors or between an energized conductor and ground is no longer sufficient to contain the voltage between them. This creates a "short cut" that allows electricity to race from conductor-to-conductor, to the extreme detriment of any worker standing nearby. Arc flash resembles a lightning bolt-like charge, emitting heat to reach temperatures of 35,000 degr. F, which is hotter than the surface temperature of the sun, in 1/1000 of a second. Anyone exposed to the blast or heat without sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) would be severely, and oftentimes fatally, injured.

An arc flash can cause substantial damage, fire, or injury. The massive energy released in the fault instantly vaporizes the metal conductors involved, blasting molten metal and expanding plasma outward with extreme force. The result of the violent event can cause destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and injury not only to the worker, but also to people and equipment nearby.

Usually a fire produces roughly 50% convective heat (flame) and 50% radiant heat. An arc can be up to 90% radiant heat. This level can produce severe burns when there is little or no flame present. In addition to the explosive blast of such a fault, destruction also arises from the intense radiant heat produced by the arc. The metal plasma arc produces tremendous amounts of light energy from far infrared to ultraviolet.

Surfaces of nearby people and objects absorb this energy and are instantly heated to vaporizing temperatures. The effects of this can be seen on adjacent walls and equipment, which are often ablated and eroded from the radiant effects.


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