Machine safety: Executives balance risks, profits

Industrial executives are engaged more than ever in operational risk oversight. This certainly includes machine safety.


Given our current economic environment, and particularly in industry, it’s probably not a big surprise that executives are engaged more than ever in operational risk oversight. Quickly reacting to shifts in market demands, adverse events and the ever changing governmental regulatory and compliance requirements is a must. Is machine safety in their cross hairs?


You bet! I recently read a recent study completed by the Aberdeen Group titled: Operational Risk Management: Getting Ahead of the Risk Curve, November 2012. In this study Aberdeen evaluated 119 executives from various companies and found that “best in class” companies established a framework to facilitate sustainable programs throughout the organization to identify risks, implement corrective procedures and preventive procedures.


So, how does this impact machine safety? Well, it seems that of the four major pressures driving their focus, there were eight influences impacting those financial risks. And, that there was no one single influence that was the most dominant. These eight influences are:

  • Failure of Critical Assets
  • Non-Compliance (OSHA, FDA, NERC, etc.)
  • Environmental Impact (spills, leaks, etc.)
  • Financial Risks
  • Logistics Risks
  • Supplier Quality
  • Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
  • Supplier Risks (re-evaluate portfolio of contract suppliers)


As an industry expert in machine safety I know that the above influences highlighted in yellow are heavily impacted by how effective a companies’ safety culture is within the business. For example, unplanned machine downtime and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) are two factors of effective machine safety and they directly contribute to “Failure of Critical Assets.” Both “Non-Compliance” to regulations and standards and “Environmental Impacts” of spills or leaks are major expenses of in-effective machine safety which go directly to the bottom line. And, “EH&S” issues in employee morale translate directly to productivity performance which also impacts the bottom line.


In my opinion, no wonder executives are balancing for profits focused at Operational Risk Management including machine safety.


J.B. Titus, CFSE

Has this presented you with any new perspectives? Add your comments or thoughts to the discussion by submitting your ideas, experiences, and challenges in the comments section below.


Related articles:

Machine Safety: Managing operational risk

Aberdeen Group - “Operational Risk Management”, November 2012

The term Operational Risk Management (ORM) is defined as …..Wikipedia


Contact: for “Solutions for Machine Safety”.

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