Obstacles to Safety: Observations from the Outside

The Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA) hosted speaker Paul Serafini at the MHI 2016 Spring Meetings. Serafini, an industrial health and safety professional with over 20 years of experience, offered the perspective of a supply chain and material handling professional who sees first-hand what motivates companies to invest or not invest in safety. He spoke to the challenges and opportunities safety equipment/protective guarding manufactures face when trying to motivate reluctant users to understand the cost of negligence and non-compliance.

His May 17th presentation, Obstacles to Safety: Observations from the Outside, gave an eye opening perspective on safety standards for both the user and manufacturer.

Key takeaways include:

1. Like people, organizations often exhibit questionable decision making.
Serafini opens the presentation with four case studies on poor safety management that result in serious injury and in some cases fatality.

2. The common thread between the companies that get it, is that they manage safety like any other part of the business.
Serafini recommends the TQM as a comprehensive safety management approach that works horizontally across an organization, involving all departments and functions and employees.

3. Educate users on the true costs of accidents, especially financial.
Serafini claims that successful companies treat safety like any other part of the business and understand that low indirect costs (out of pocket cost) are just as important as low direct costs (insured costs).

4. Educate on positives and avoid fear as a sales tactic.
Serafini proves that the desire to gain is a much more effective and powerful motivator than the fear of loss.

More about Paul Serafini
Paul spent 13 years at Integrated Loss Control, Inc. and the past 8 at the University of Minnesota as the Occupational Health & Safety Compliance Specialist.  He has created safety and health programs for clients in a wide variety of industries.  Paul has conducted administrative program reviews, hazard recognition inspections, program development and employee/supervisor training.  Paul is EPA-authorized for Worker Protection Standard training and OSHA-authorized as an Outreach Trainer.

What is ProGMA?
The Protective Guarding Manufacturers Association (ProGMA) members are the Industry’s leading suppliers of fixed protective guarding products designed to protect personnel, equipment, and inventory in industrial facilities. Learn more here.