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The Safety Brief In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews
and insights into how contractors and safety managers
can be even more effective in protecting their workers.
In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews and insights into how contractors and safety managers can be even more effective in protecting their workers.

OEE Losses

OEE losses, the losses in Overall Equipment Effectiveness, can impact safety and cripple work-in-process. Learn here how to save time and money, and keep workers safer.

Breakdowns are unsafe, and unproductive. Regular maintenance reduces breakdown frequency. Keep replacement equipment and spare parts in-house to avoid long waits.

Small stops are aggravating delays of five minutes or less caused by misfeeds, jams or inaccurate sensors. Implementing best practices will streamline workflow, requiring all workers to use the same procedures in process. Workers can be injured trying to correct small stops, but if properly trained, should fix the problem rather than wait for a supervisor.

Loss of speed may be due to work being done at a low run-rate. Increasing speed for maximum efficiency can be a goal, as long as safety is job one.

Machine setup and adjustment can substantially slow workflow, and be a workplace hazard. Extra care should be taken to changeover efficiently, but safely.


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OEE_Losses-Creative_Safety_Supply-250x250Dan Clark: Just like your own car, poorly maintained machines in the workplace are a safety hazard and they cost time and money.

Hello. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.

Equipment doesn’t last forever. If not monitored, it could fly apart and hurt somebody. Or not do was expected and hurt somebody. Get the pattern?

OEE losses — losses in Overall Equipment Effectiveness — can impact safety and cripple work-in-process. That means money. Breakdowns and stops mess with efficiency. Eliminating OEE losses can give you a trifecta: save the company time, dollars and keep workers safer.

Here are a few things that contribute to OEE losses:

  • BREAKDOWNS. Ignored equipment is unsafe equipment. Set up a regular maintenance schedule to avoid breakdowns. When doing maintenance or repair, always use lockout/tagout. Have replacement parts on hand to keep things running right. This maintains productivity and safety.


  • SMALL STOPS. Simple things like jams, misfeeds or blocked sensors can cause small stops in production. Employees are likely to be injured trying to fix a jam or misfeed. To stop these small stops, create best practices. This means all workers will use the same steps to perform tasks. It will help eliminate errors. To maintain efficient workflow train all workers how to fix small stops so they don’t have to call a supervisor.


  • LOSS OF SPEED. Sometimes, production does not run at maximum efficiency. Assess your operations to find out what an ideal run-rate looks like and standardize processes to help achieve it. But… sometimes workers will sacrifice safety for speed, so make sure your ideal run-rate includes the use of all proper safety measures and PPE.


  • ADJUSTING OR SETTING UP MACHINES. Here is another typical problem that contributes to OEE losses and workplace hazards. New production run changeovers can be inefficient and dangerous. Make the changeover quickly to save down-time, but don’t sacrifice safety. Startup and production rejects — the defective goods that won’t reach consumers — cost time and money, but don’t be tempted to make adjustments on the fly. Somebody might lose a finger.

That’s all on OEE losses and this episode. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at


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