BOMAG in Ridgeway shares SCAT system with South Carolina OpExChange

BOMAGSafety in the workplace is vitally important. Nearly every manufacturing company will earnestly tell you that their top priority is the safety and well-being of their employees. The procedure and policies put into place are there to protect their most valuable assets – the people that make the plants hum. Unfortunately, manufacturing processes also have inherent risks and safety incidents sometime still occur. How an organization responds to these incidents is crucial to preventing and mitigating future incidents.

BOMAG makes BIG equipment. They are the world market leader in the field of compaction technology and manufacturer of machines for the compaction of soil, asphalt, and refuse. Their bright yellow compactors are readily visible in interstate construction projects across South Carolina and the USA. BOMAG is proportionally “BIG” in addressing safety in the manufacture of their equipment. (More information on BOMAG Americas and their innovation is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxbKJFxcXJo&feature=emb_logo)

In the OpExChange webinar this week, Brady Umberger presented how BOMAG in Ridgeway, South Carolina uses a systematic approach to forensically analyze EVERY safety incident. All contributing causes are isolated to implement corrective actions. Brady is the Director of Operations of BOMAG America. There were 31 manufacturers from across South Carolina attending the webinar today, including plants from the Midlands, Low Country, and Upstate.


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Brady shared that BOMAG uses SCAT (Systematic Cause Analysis Technique) to methodically dissect an incident to get down to the elemental root causes of the safety incident. Brady likened a manufacturing safety investigation to a CSI (crime scene investigation) where no stone is left unturned. The SCAT tool provides BOMAG the standardized structure to ensure that they understand why the incident occurred. Brady stated that, “If you don’t find the ‘why’ you cannot take effective corrective action … or you are only addressing the symptoms and not the root causes.” Frequently in industry, a root cause is identified that an employee did not follow a procedure. There is a much deeper “why” that should be asked here. Why did the operator not follow the procedure? Was there production pressure placed on the employee? Was there inadequate training? The SCAT tool provides a structure that necessitates answering these deeper questions.

Brady walked through an actual example of a burn that occurred to “John Doe” at BOMAG. This case might have stopped with the root cause identified that at an employee did not follow the proper procedures. The SCAT system actually led to the identification and correction of deeper root causes including inadequate communications and inadequate monitoring of compliance.

Brady also shared some other supporting tools and details with OpExChange members including photographs of their first aid station and medic bag used in the incident investigation.

Brady stated that he is not a salesman for SCAT. It is simply the tool he has utilized to take a standardized approach to identifying root causes of safety incidents. He recommends that each company utilize some systematic approach to analyzing safety incidents.

All OpExChange members received more detailed reference material following the session.

The OpExChange is a peer-to-peer network of companies in South Carolina dedicated to learning and growing together. Member companies host events and share practical examples of industrial automation, lean manufacturing improvements, and leadership development. It is an invaluable resource to member companies that provide access to others who are on similar improvement journeys. If you are interested in joining, contact Mike Demos (mike@opexchange.com) or visit the OpExChange website to see other events planned for August & September: www.OpExChange.com.