KCF Technologies Blog

Why the way you’re running your factory is dangerous to your workers


By Jeremy Frank

American factories are in desperate need of correcting maintenance standards. The problem is we’re doing too much reactive work and not enough predictive work.

In the overwhelming majority of companies, more than 60 percent of injuries occur while doing reactive maintenance. Exxon-Mobil reported accidents are five times more likely when doing breakdown work than when doing planned and scheduled work. Additionally, DuPont reported the most likely person to be injured on the job is a maintenance technician, with less than two years of experience, doing reactive work.

So why do we still see men and women exposing themselves to dangerous situations and getting hurt on the job? We believe it’s a matter of shifting our focus from the past to the future, of learning to respond to failures before they happen. We’re reacting when we should be predicting.

Reactive work is dangerous for workers and directly related to the number of injuries in a factory. (via)

 Figure 3
Look at how injuries decrease when we shift to predictive maintenance. (via)

Figure 2

Not only will focusing on predictive maintenance prevent injuries and improve a factory’s safety level, it will save the factory money.  (via)
Figure 5

In short, the more forward-looking maintenance workers there are, the fewer injuries there will be. And the best way to rescue your workers from the stress, danger, and expense of “putting out fires” is to focus on predictive maintenance.

Next week we’ll talk about tips for changing this.

To what extend does reactive maintenance expose you to safety hazards? How might your job improve if your factory offered you more predictive maintenance tools?


KCF Technologies is an engineering company founded in 2000 and based in Central Pennsylvania. Its latest breakthrough is a wireless sensor system that notifies you when a machine is going to fail before it actually does. It’s called SmartDiagnostics. Organizations taking advantage of this new technology are seeing significant improvements in safety, uptime and profitability.

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