Focus your CMMS on safety issues

Between PMs, work orders and reports, a CMMS gives you the basic tools to implement a safety program and to schedule and perform most safety-related tasks.


Any CMMS worth its salt should give you the capabilities necessary to ensure the safety of your employees and shield your company from paying hefty fines because a technician failed to perform a safety review, and a worker fell from a faulty ladder.

Yes, accidents do occur. But a PM needs to check the rungs on all ladders: A work order to complete the safety tasks and the back-up documentation to prove it should satisfy an OSHA auditor who wants to know that the task was performed, on a schedule, and that the incident was not due to negligence.

Between PMs, work orders and reports, a CMMS gives you the basic tools to implement a safety program and to schedule and perform most safety-related tasks, including job safety analysis (JSA), fire alarms, drills, and evacuations. A truly advanced CMMS will also link material safety data sheets (MSDS) and lockout/tagout information to work orders and equipment.

Every organization has its own safety programs associated with jobs, whether it's changing a light bulb, hauling trash or handling hazardous chemicals. A CMMS should tell you what has been done on a piece of equipment; when it was done; who did it; and when the last inspection took place.

To go a step further, your CMMS should allow you to implement a safety program and break it down by the program's routine tasks, and separately, by inspections and incidents. The safety program should link all safety tasks to PMs, work orders, assets and equipment.

Let's say a PM triggers a work order to check the oil seal in a hydraulic lift. A safety document, stored in the equipment file and accessed through the work order spells out instructions for preventing oil from leaking when removing the old seal. The technician views the work order, clicks on the link, reviews the instructions, performs the task, records his notes and closes the work order. Work order data is now available for reports.

Your CMMS should also have safety checklists specifically for audit inspections. For example, you might have multiple PMs for fire prevention tasks in a warehouse. Your CMMS should let you set up an inspection, attach a master checklist of inspection items, record your responses, and generate timely reports for OSHA auditors to prove, once again, that you’ve kept up with assigned safety tasks.

Incidents (accidents) warrant their own records with photos, filled out OSHA 300 log forms and other necessary documentation. Your CMMS program should provide quick access to incident data logs and generate reports that show which safety tasks were completed over time and what’s been put in place to prevent future injuries. If an auditor questions an incident, a maintenance report proves that the task was performed on schedule, over the past year, and the incident was a one-time occurrence, with updated prevention measures in place. This is the kind of documentation inspectors want to see.

CMMS isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to safety compliance and protection. To ensure safety for employees and compliance with auditors it makes sense to use a CMMS program with functionality that equally addresses routine safety tasks, inspections and incidents.

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