Enhanced Workplace Safety: IBM Maximo Protects the Most Valuable Asset of All

The safety of your team members is no place for compromise

Service Management in Action

Every enterprise-class organization has a complex asset base that requires management and monitoring to achieve business goals and sustain profitability. But to preserve the health and safety of the most important asset of all—the human workforce—it's clear that asset management solutions must be as comprehensive, unified, forward-looking, and effective as possible.

Only in this way can they minimize the odds of physical harm coming to employees, contractors, and any other relevant parties. This, indeed, is why many leading organizations specifically cite "being safe" as a core value—something above and beyond traditional business concerns like market share or competitive differentiation.

That said, when health and safety are significantly improved, organizations will almost certainly become more successful as a result. Why? Consider how improved health and safety tends to play out in real-world terms:


A layered strategy minimizes risk—but may have unseen shortfalls

When audits and surveys are more accurate and more comprehensive, the immediate result is better risk visibility—the actionable insight needed to take whatever steps are required to make the workplace as safe as it can possibly be.

Generating significant and lasting improvements in health and safety, however, turns out to be more difficult than it might at first appear. In part, this is due to the increasing complexity of both infrastructures and business processes. As they continue to evolve, in asset-intensive industries such as chemicals and petroleum, transportation, utilities, and manufacturing, it becomes possible for unexpected risks to develop in parallel.

Traditional approaches to improving health and safety can be conceived of as layers of protection; the idea is to minimize the odds of a health or safety issue by requiring it to get through all layers before it can occur. And in a static world, where infrastructure and processes never change, that approach might suffice.

In the actual world, however, change is the only constant. As that change occurs, the layers of protection can develop logical holes—rather like Swiss cheese. And when those holes occur in multiple layers of protection (via latent failure, audit shortfalls, or in any other manner), it's possible for them to align, and thus for potentially serious health and safety and operational incidents to occur.

Therefore, the smarter, more agile, and more comprehensive a health and safety strategy is, the more effective it is likely to be.

Moving from regulation compliance to proactive risk prevention

This is why forward-looking organizations are increasingly shifting their focus to become more proactive in assessing possible threats to health and safety, and finding new ways to minimize the odds of any possible incident.

Rather than rely on health and safety-related government regulations as a metric of success—and deeming the workplace acceptably safe if compliance with those regulations is achieved—they are looking more aggressively at all possible causes of incidents. They are then asking questions such as:

Toward answering all of those questions, improved audits and surveys can play a key role. When audits and surveys are more accurate and more comprehensive, the immediate result is better risk visibility—the actionable insight needed to take whatever steps are required to make the workplace as safe as it can possibly be.

Along similar lines, it's important that preparation for tasks such as routine operations, construction, commissioning, and turnarounds be made as safe as possible, and that those tasks can be certified as safe once any revision or change to them has been completed. And because change is constantly occurring, it's best to think of health and safety as applying in a continuous loop throughout the asset lifecycle—not just in space, concerning all assets, but also through time, as assets, business processes, and workforce risks change and evolve in many ways.


IBM Maximo Health, Safety, and Environment Manager helps you make the workplace safer for all team members

These are some of the many ideas behind IBM Maximo Health, Safety, and Environment Manager—a solution designed to help organizations improve safety as completely, and proactively, as possible. Using it, they can reduce risks of many kinds, in many ways; simplify and improve regulation compliance; demonstrate that that compliance has in fact been achieved, helpful in the event of an audit; and analyze health events when they do occur, looking for root causes that can subsequently be eliminated.

Health, Safety, and Environment Manager accomplishes these goals through a broad range of capabilities. Among others:


New and enhanced features extend IBM's leadership position in health, safety, and environment

In the latest version—v. 7.5.1—IBM Maximo Health, Safety, and Environment Manager has been extensively updated with an array of compelling new and enhanced features. These features are a response to many customer insights and requests, and they also reflect IBM's own evolving best practices.

Together, they help make the solution substantially more powerful—and the workplaces of its users substantially safer and healthier.

For instance, consider the new Permit to Work capability. This is a function that has historically often been addressed via a custom system designed specifically for an organization or workplace's context—but custom solutions like that also have the effect of splintering information and management. Instead of pulling all asset-related information together, and orchestrating processes via a cohesive process engine, they divide that information and those processes.

Because Health, Safety, and Environment Manager supports Permit to Work, organizations can now replace these custom systems—centralizing asset management and driving up cross-team communications between maintenance, operations, safety, and engineering groups. The results: higher safety more easily achieved, spanning the complete lifecycle of assets and business processes.

Additionally, the solution now supports audits and surveys of many kinds, which can rapidly reveal both compliance shortfalls and potential hazards or risks that regulations may not even address at all—a truly proactive strategy to move from compliance to protection, as described above. These, together with enhanced failure reporting, mean that customers can make business processes safer, continuously—thus keeping their health and safety strategy continuously aligned with all the changes that characterize the business world today.

Among the enhancements are improved Preparation Activities and Certifications pertaining to activities like construction, commissioning, and turnaround management. Here, just as with Permit to Work, specialist third-party applications have often been used; those are, in many cases, no longer necessary. This has the effect of simplifying handover from one phase of project development to another, and fostering any cross-team, cross-domain communication needed to drive up health and safety.

Health, Safety, and Environment Manager also now includes enhanced Location Profiles. Any organization that is trying to make the most informed possible decisions about business processes at geographically diverse operations sites will find these helpful; they provide locale-specific data relevant to health and safety, resulting in more effective decisions, arrived at more quickly and more easily. The same data can also be leveraged by extended analytics, if desired. In such a scenario, the effect will be to make forecasting and trend detection more accurate going forward, augmenting the organization's ability to anticipate and proactively eliminate health and safety risks of many kinds.


Standout capabilities matched by no competitor

Organizations looking for the solutions needed to create a "culture of safety"—and realize all the many benefits of such a culture—will find that IBM Maximo Health, Safety, and Environment Manager v. 7.5.1 has many competitive strengths available from no other vendor or offering.

Among others:

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