Although the most common causes of manufacturing accidents or injuries varies by sub industry and the reporting source, it has been suggested that three of the seven most common causes include: lack of preparation, starting a task before gathering all necessary safety information, and neglecting safety procedures. All three of those causes can be proactively addressed by adherence to strong document management practices and with a robust testing and training system as part of comprehensive compliance software.
As ISO 9001:2015 placed increased emphasis on Risk-Based Thinking, it is only fitting that more and more manufacturers are seeking solutions that will help them take proactive measures towards preventing accidents and injuries that pose risk to their, employees, compliance efforts, and business at large.
A successful manufacturing company requires extensive training, safety protocols, and emergency procedures in order to ensure their employees are kept from harm, as well as to ensure production lines work at maximum efficiency. In a large operation, this requires enormous amounts of paperwork, files, documentation, and even business continuity planning.
When everything is running smoothly, digging for the necessary protocols or procedures may feel cumbersome, but doesn’t necessarily set off bells and whistles that a bigger problem may be lurking. However, what happens when things go wrong–things that could have been prevented? A mistake on the production line because someone was unsure about proper procedure. An injury that occurred because someone was inadvertently following obsolete instructions.
Document Management and Manufacturing Safety
Document Management allows documents to be stored centrally, so any employee with access rights and a computer can find the documents they need in a shared location. Instead of sifting through copies in file cabinets, or chasing a paper trail of whomever has the most recent copy, they can pull up digital documentation and search.
Mistakes are more likely to happen if an employee is referencing expired procedures or protocols. Document Control functions are designed so only the most recent version of any document is kept in the system; all older versions are archived, maintaining records for an audit while preventing employees from accidentally seeing the wrong document.
Not only does it keep only the most recent files, but it can also send reminders when it’s time to review and update. No one wants to realize a workplace injury or production line mishap was the result of an obsolete process that was never updated. Document Control systems will send updates and reminders when it’s time to review, renew, and update documentation. You won’t be at risk for missing a necessary review deadline, or be stuck trying to make out-of-date policies fit around the issues of the present.
Access “Need to Know” Information
Our workflow functionality can help shed light on trends related to workplace accidents or production line breakdowns, giving leadership the information they need to assess how to improve operations and practices to create a safer and more efficient manufacturing facility. Many customers have workflows–or automated process– specific to safety issues or workplace injuries. This creates a digital record of the incident and subsequent investigation. This is also an important part of risk assessments, as trending information of root causes can be monitored and evaluated.
Supporting Safety with Testing & Training
The power of Document Management is amplified when it is part of a comprehensive software solution like ours. Alongside document management our product has testing and training which can be used to demonstrate understanding of and competency in procedures and process.
When training records are easily accessible a supervisor can quickly evaluate if their direct reports have been properly trained, and in some cases retrained, to ensure safe practices on the manufacturing floor or within other areas of the facility. The ease of access is a stark contrast to traditional training methods involving clipboards and paper files. A digitized and modernized system creates necessary visibility that is accessible anywhere there is internet access.
ISO 9001 Focuses on Risk-Based Thinking….Do You?
Since ISO 9001 has taken a clear stance on Risk-Based thinking it only makes sense that manufacturers would take time to pause and consider if their processes, practices, and solutions truly mitigate the risk of issues such as employee injury. If you are ready to learn more about how our comprehensive software solution can support these best practices, please let us know!