Software upgrade enhances plant safety, says developer

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Occupational safety and health

An upgraded version of a health and safety management software application allows food and drink processors to track incidents and hazards and also aids inspections and corrective action, says TRA.

The US company said its IndustrySafe Safety Management System allows users to enter in any type of incident such as near miss, injury, illness, environmental, employee, vehicle, or non-employee related incident.

Clare Epstein, vice president TRA, told that version 3.08 of its software differs from similar models on the market because of its ease of use, affordability, scalability and also the fact that users can modify it to meet their needs.

“IndustrySafe focuses on ease of use with a web based system, and, thus, if a user has previously carried out online tasks such as buying an airline ticket they will have no problems using this software,”​ said Clare Epstein, vice president TRA.

She said that the company upgrades its software two or three times a year based on feedback from existing and potential clients.

Hazard reporting

The new features of this version, according to Epstein, include more safety hazards and new incident dashboards such as hazards by sources, by type, by evaluation as well as incidents by worker age.

“Our safety dashboard allows companies to view hazard trends side by side with incident trends, providing plants with the information they require to focus resources on areas in need,”​ she explained.

Email blast

She said that this release also enables easier dissemination of environmental health and safety information to employees as users can now view common procedures and policies in an easily accessed document library, while an email blast function allows system administrators to send all users safety messages.

A default environmental form is available in version 3.08’s robust incident module, which enables straightforward entry of environmental spills and releases, continued Epstein.

“Like all IndustrySafe forms, this document can be configured by administrators to best meet the needs of their organisation and includes print outs and custom trend analysis of the form,”​ she said.

Epstein IndustrySafe also includes a module devoted to inspections, with users able to record, track, notify, follow-up and print the results of inspections using pre-built inspection templates (based on the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards) or customise the application with their own inspection checklist.

Injury record

According to a conference on food manufacturing safety held in the UK in October, significant progress has been made in cutting work place injuries in the food industry.

“Fatal injuries are down by 76 per cent and total injuries are down by 57 per cent since the Recipe for Safety Initiative was introduced in the early ‘90s,”​ claimed the UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

Speaking at the conference, Jak Thomas, national health and safety manager of Allied Bakeries and chair of the UK’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee, identified the five key areas of risk management critical to the safety and well being of workers in the industry as: people safety, process safety, property risk, occupational health and road risk.

He said that priorities over the next year will be to continue to develop behavourial safety culture, to focus on occupational health issues through workforce health surveillance, improve communications with non-English speaking workers and conduct risk assessments for the aging population.

The ten key danger topics in food plants, according to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, are workplace transport, falls from height and slips and trips. Those are followed by manual handling disorders, machinery dangers, falling objects, dermatisis, asthma, noise induced hearing loss and work-related stress.

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