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Current Business Research

Current Business Research Project

A paper food container manufacturer was interested in increasing employee participation in safety initiatives within the facility. While the safety incident rates were below industry standards for the paper food container industry, low back pain injuries and cumulative trauma incidents were the primary areas of loss in regards to safety. The company needed to identify areas for safety improvement before any more

Current Business Research

injuries occurred. Thirteen individuals, comprised of production associates and supervisors, were selected to lead the company initiatives in continuous improvement and safety awareness by researching the current safety methods and defining areas for improvement. . R3 was identified as the method that the team would utilize in their task. R3, which stands for Residual Risk Reduction, is a safety focused method used to identify areas of risk within a process or operation. Much like a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis, the R3 method uses a system where each concern is rated based on frequency, likelihood and severity. Each concern is evaluated for each of the three categories by rating the probability on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. The category ratings are multiplied to find the risk score for each concern. The risk scores for all of the concerns are added together for a residual risk index. The higher the risk index, the more severe the concern. The team was trained on the R3 methods and techniques during the first day of their fourhour meeting. They decided to focus on an area within the company that had the least amount of safety incidents to analyze the processes in that department for implementation throughout the company. The 'high bay' area of the facility is primarily used for storage of an extensive volume of products. This area contained an automatic storage and retrieval system (ASRS) where an automated forklift transported the products between two racks of storage. The unit was designed to categorize and house pallets of product.

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While this area had the least amount of safety violations, the team identified several areas that could potentially be safety risks. By interviewing associates who worked in the area and direct observation of the operation, the team was able to determine a list of concerns to be used in the R3 calculation. The primary area of high risk was due to the pallets becoming jammed within the storage system during the operation. The ASRS system was unable to retrieve the pallets so a maintenance technician would climb onto the storage rack and use a six-foot pry bar t o straighten the pallet. This problem had become a daily occurrence within the operation. The team listed each safety concern associated with the procedure and then identified the existing controls, if any, that addressed each concern. The risk score was calculated for each concern and the residual risk index was determined. Areas for improvement were identified utilizing a second risk assessment. Each concern was listed along with the new controls to be set in place by the company. Upon analyzing the risk factors with the new controls, the residual risk index decreased from 342 to 116. When the team presented their findings to the leadership group, they found that the business leaders were investigating process improvement initiatives such as Lean and Six Sigma. The findings and recommendations of the team were in line with the company's strategic objectives. While the team had identified areas for safety improvement, they also exposed areas for operational improvement as well. By implementing the new safety controls, the efficiency of the ASRS would increase due to less down time to fix the pallet jams in the system. The cost for the suggested improvements was justified and the new controls were set in place.

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References

Case Study. (2005, November). Case Study: Container Manufacturer. Professional Safety, Vol. 50 Issue 11, p32-33, 2p. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. (2004). Residual Risk Reduction. Retrieved on November 12, 2005 from http://www.libertymutual.com/omapps/ContentServer%3Fcid%3D107843988 1990%26pagename%3DCMInternet%252FDocument%252FShowDoc%26c%3D Document+r3+process&hl=en