Must Know IATF 16949 Safety Requirement

IATF 16949 has complete harmonization for all the requirements of industrial management systems related to the automotive sector. This specialization further strengthens its image in the automotive manufacturing industry.

The International Automotive Task Force (IATF), as noted on their website, is an ad hoc collaboration of automotive manufacturers and trade associations. The goal of the IATF was to establish standards, such as the IATF 16949 safety requirement, for the entire automotive community. In automotive manufacturing, safety is always a significant concern. Automobiles have increased their safety records as time has gone by, but that doesn’t mean they are less dangerous overall. Many of these safety measures have come because of manufacturers’ proactive decisions to ensure that the product is safe for consumer use. 

The IATF 16949 system’s latest iteration was published in 2016 and outlines a series of safety requirements for manufacturers. It addressed previous issues with companies not being able to produce proper documentation of their safety equipment development. As a result, the clauses included in the latest IATF 16949 rules require a slew of manufacturers’ criteria to follow. The IATF’s definition of product safety states that it addresses the standards related to the design and manufacture of any product to ensure that it does not present a hazard or cause harm to consumers.

How To Maintain Safety Culture Within an Organization for the IATF 16949 Safety Requirement

Maintaining a culture of safety within the company is the best way to ensure that the company conforms to the requirements of the IATF 16949 safety requirement. For a business to consider consumer safety as a priority, it must also look at several other facets of its development internally.

1) Implement a Corporate Safety Policy

One of the things that the IATF 16949 safety requirement highlights in its publications is that safety shouldn’t rest with on single department. Each department must be responsible for its own safety standards. Upper management must oversee these changes and ensure that they conform to the overall company policy regarding safety.

2) Determination of Hazards

Hazards exist within the company as well as outside of it. By evaluating risks, a company gets the chance to deal with the issue altogether. If the problems persist, the manufacturer may be required to perform mitigation to ensure that it does not present a severe problem. Once they become known, hazards should be categorized on the risk level they present to workers or consumers.

3) Independent Safety Review

While developing a safety policy within the company’s walls starts implementing protective measures, external validation is a natural part of the policy’s evolution. Many companies overlook this crucial step, and, as a result, their safety policies become outdated and fail to notice critical information. Outside help is crucial to pinpointing these issues. Businesses that take too long to get external validation risk introducing flaws within their internal systems.

4) Promoting a Culture of Safety

An automotive company’s safety procedures need to be communicated with the clients, not merely through words but through actions. It would not do to have an auto manufacturer’s staff involved in an accident on-premises due to speeding, for example. Cultivating a culture of safety starts with the company itself. Encouraging its employees to operate their motor vehicles safely sends the right message to the consumer. If someone that works for the manufacturer is taking precautions, there’s no reason why the average driver shouldn’t do the same.

Developing Safety Personnel Internally

There can be dozens of departments, each with scores of individuals within an auto manufacturer’s company. The best way to ensure that safety culture is maintained is by designating each department’s members as “safety champions.” This delegation allows each department to have a point-person on hand to consult in the event of a safety concern or question. We are dedicated to helping our clients conform to safety guidelines as a part of their IATF 16949 safety requirement certification. Consult us today, and let’s help you shore up your internal security!

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founder of sync resource

About Author

Sunita Verma, Founder and President of Sync Resource started the company in 2009 with a vision to provide management consulting to small & medium size businesses around the country.
Sunita holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering(India) with prestigious gold medal by then President of India and renowned Scientist Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
As an active philanthropist she believes in pay it forward and is a contributing member of charitable organizations like St. Jude’s Foundation and North Fulton Charities.

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