Each manufacturing facility is an environment in which any kind of interruption of the production process due to a safety problem can result in failing to achieve production targets or, even worse, serious or fatal accidents. That’s why each company should have very clear set of safety rules and procedures that are strictly enforced.
However, accidents and problems still happen all over the world, despite all the measures taken. Sometimes they simply can’t be avoided, but more often than not, they are simply a consequence of human error. The damage caused depends on many factors, but as with other things in life, the old adage applies: better safe than sorry. Here are some tips for optimizing safety in your manufacturing facility that should help your employees stay safe and healthy.
If there’s anything that you consider a safety threat, you most definitely need to deal with it as quickly as possible. Be careful not to take any action that might put your employees in danger. As the employer, you are legally obliged to create a safe working environment for your workers and you’ll be best advised to hire reliable personnel that will supervise the process of work and react promptly if any safety issue arises.
Whatever your employees are doing, they need to have proper safety equipment with them at all times. Also, both employees and their supervisors should inspect the protective equipment regularly for any potential signs of damage, because it won’t be able to provide appropriate protection if it’s not in the perfect order.
It may come as a surprise, but slips and trips are quite high on the list of most common accidents in the workplace. That’s why all surfaces must be clean and dry and if there’s a spill, it has to be dealt with immediately. Liquids are not the only problem. Loose boards, holes, or nails protruding from the floor are equally dangerous and have to be removed. There are also anti-slip flooring solutions that can be used, which greatly enhance the safety of all your employees.
Proper Use of Equipment
Probably the most common cause of work-related accidents is the improper use of equipment, which is why each of your employees has to be trained to use the equipment in question. Having regular inspections and making sure that your equipment is clean and functional is of utmost importance, especially when working with complex pieces of equipment, since accidents can happen if anything is malfunctioning, despite the fact that you might have done everything right.
Emergency exits, working areas, and equipment shutoffs need to be free from any clutter that might prevent access or escape in case of emergency. Also, cluttered areas may keep your employees from using your tools and equipment properly, which is another potential hazard.
Some facilities contain flammable materials, which is a great safety risk if they are not stored, used, and disposed of properly. That’s why you need to be extremely careful when handling them and follow the instructions to the letter. Another cause of fire, believe it or not, can be dust. If it accumulates, it becomes combustible, which is why it’s crucial all areas are kept clean at all times.
Danger from Above
Accidents can also happen if objects fall from a height. Having protection, such as nets and toe rails is a great way of preventing something like that from happening. Workers should keep heavier objects on lower shelves and remove all stacked objects from corridors and work areas. As for the elevation equipment (as in boom lift solutions, for instance), making sure that every device is regularly serviced will considerably reduce the risk of injuries.
Employees should be instructed to lift objects with a straight back, as not doing so could put them at risk for a serious back injury. Also, whenever possible, workers should use mechanical aids to help them lift objects.
It’s well-known that people who are tired are much more prone to accidents. We lose focus when we are tired and often make mistakes as a result. That’s why taking regular breaks is important, because your employees need to be as alert as possible when working.
Taking safety seriously is very important if you want to avoid damage, health problems, or even loss of life, which is why everyone needs to be aware of measures and procedures in place.