Altering the Safety Equation with Analytics

By Mark Sen Gupta

ARC Report Abstract


Safety systems and procedures in manufacturing continue to be part of the cost of doing business.  Automation has helped alleviate some problems, but also allowed companies to push the boundaries of the safety envelope.  Over the years, the industry’s safety record has improved overall, but when things go wrong, the consequences are often more severe.  Enter protection analysis.

Safety and environmental regulations are becoming more stringent and media scrutiny is increasing.  This adds to the pressure of maintaining production, protecting physical assets, reducing insurance and other costs, and - in some cases - avoiding jail time. The tools industry has used up to now have served us well, but it’s time to take it further.

Analytic technologies offer new ways to augment the current technology, improve procedures, and better support operators. Predictive analytics promise to reduce risk by changing variables like reaction times and likelihood of occurrence. The question is, are companies taking advantage of the available improvements?

Layers of Protection Analysis

Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA), a risk assessment method, provides a way to evaluate the risk of hazard scenarios and compare that risk to a company’s risk tolerance criteria.  This allows companies to decide if existing safeguards are adequate or additional safeguards are needed. How a company addresses the risk is not part of the analysis.

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Keywords: Analytics, LOPA, Alarms, Safety, ASM, ARC Advisory Group.


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