Operational excellence requires a high level of maturity in your safety process. It’s not a coincidence that the best companies in throughput, quality and cost also do well in safety. The glue that holds it all together is the underlying culture that demonstrates your support for people and it’s all linked with a cause and effect. The safety risk assessment tool went through a history of development from the early 1990s to 2008. Thanks to General Motors and Mike Douglas, its Senior Manager of New Technology and Standards, the University of Tennessee’s Reliability and Maintainability Center shares the process in training courses. The contextual risk assessment (CRA) is simple, flexible and has a great range of applications. As an overview, it:

  • Allows you to identify the issues as they relate to what you’re observing.
  • Provides an analysis area to evaluate the observations and issues based on the required discipline and the level of expertise needed according to the circumstances.
  • Provides the ability to show the impact on the company, project, equipment, quality, responsiveness, etc.
  • Enables looking at a glance at all the possible safety category combinations where actions can be performed based on the hierarchy of controls.
  • Facilitates the convergence to the optimal solution, with responsibility and estimated completion date.

The CRA tool, using the risk assessment worksheet (RAW), provides you with the flexibility to perform due diligence based on the defined scope. It can be used at any step in the manufacturing lifecycle (MLE) and with machinery and equipment design elements. There are eight design elements throughout the three MLE stages: MLE-Design, which includes preliminary design, pre-award quote and award purchase order; MLE-Pipeline, which includes the detailed design, the supplier building the equipment or buying off-the-shelf and accepting the finished asset; and MLE-Plant Floor, which includes install/debug and run production.

The risk assessment worksheet:

  • Focuses on what to capture and analyze.
  • Provides the framework for how to ensure that due diligence was performed in the analysis.
  • Provides the details to verify that action items were completed.
  • Creates the ultimate format to enable a fluid and effortless spontaneous dialogue for risk assessments at any stage of a system’s lifecycle.

Figure 3.13 is a high-level look at and explanation of the risk assessment worksheet.

Tip from The Relativity of Continuous Improvement by Dr. Klaus Blache

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