Manufacturing Safety: Tips to Keep Your Workers Safe

About 18,000 people die from workplace injuries each year, according to OSHA statistics; that’s one person every 12 minutes. In addition to these deaths, another 3 million people are injured at work each year and do not die. In many cases, deaths and injuries can be prevented by following safety guidelines and implementing a few safety precautions in the manufacturing industry to keep your workers safe at all times. Learn more about safety in the manufacturing industry with these tips below!

 

Overview Of Tips For Manufacturing Safety

You can start by forming a committee that includes representatives from both operations and human resources. The group should meet regularly to discuss safety issues, such as employee behavior and ergonomics. Regular meetings help cut down on confusion and miscommunication, which can lead to costly accidents. In addition, make sure these representatives work with management to develop concrete goals for improving overall safety in manufacturing facilities. Make sure everyone has basic training in emergency procedures and chemical handling before they start working in your manufacturing facility.

It’s also a good idea to provide ongoing safety training so employees know how to respond if an accident occurs. Provide protective equipment when it’s needed—not just during training sessions. Many workers aren’t comfortable using protective gear because they feel silly or uncomfortable wearing it. If you want them to wear safety equipment, make sure they have access to it at all times and give them time to get used to wearing it before you have them use it on the job.

Finally, conduct annual walk-throughs of your manufacturing facility. Walk through areas like storage rooms and manufacturing facilities as well as employee-only areas to make sure everything is in good working order. If you find any problems during your walk-through, fix them immediately so they don’t lead to costly accidents down the road.

 

Proper Supervision

When selecting your employees, it’s important that you choose people who are competent and can handle their job. It’s equally important that they know how to do their job safely so they don’t accidentally hurt themselves or others in your facility. The best way to ensure safety is proper supervision by supervisors and floor leaders. These are essential parts of your safety program because they provide hands-on training and lead by example for all workers on how it should be done right, including when it comes to safety.

Improper use of equipment can be dangerous. Be sure your supervisors and floor leaders show workers how to safely handle equipment, teach them what safety devices are in place, and ensure everyone knows about machine safeguards. This is critical for everyone’s safety and will reduce accidents in your manufacturing facility.

For example, a worker might not know that a certain piece of machinery should never be used without a guard on it. A supervisor or floor leader would know that and could prevent an accident from occurring if they were there at all times. You should also have safety meetings with your employees so they know exactly what you expect from them when it comes to safety. Proper supervision is key to keeping your workers safe in any type of manufacturing environment.

 

Controlled Access

Controlled access is often a great solution in high-risk manufacturing facilities. Controlled access solutions allow for employees and visitors to enter through doors that lock behind them and cannot be re-opened until an employee with access can verify who is on the other side of door. Controlling who enters and leaves a facility, as well as when they enter or leave, helps protect employees, assets, information and more.

As with any operation, employee safety is of upmost importance. And in manufacturing it’s essential that employee safety policies are backed by an effective security solution. If an unauthorized person enters a facility, they can cause equipment damage and threaten worker safety in a number of ways.

 

Establish Training Programs For All Employees

All employees should be trained in safety procedures. Training is a crucial part of keeping workers safe, so having a training program for all staff members is essential. This ensures that everyone working in your factory or office will know how to react if an emergency occurs, thereby reducing accidents and injuries within your manufacturing environment. It’s also important to remember that safety training can’t just happen once; it needs to be reinforced on a regular basis. You can make sure your employees are up-to-date on safety measures by providing them with regular refresher courses throughout their employment with you.

As your company grows, you’ll have more workers on board, and they should all be receiving regular safety training. However, if you hire employees who have worked in a similar environment before, they may already know how to conduct themselves in certain situations. You can test them on their knowledge and provide any necessary follow-up training if they don’t demonstrate mastery of safety procedures.

Safety training can be an ongoing activity in your business and should not end just because it has been proven that your workers know how to behave in emergency situations. You should regularly provide your employees with safety courses and make sure they continue learning how to keep themselves and their co-workers safe while they are on duty.

 

Manage Hazards Effectively Through Maintenance Programs and Corrective Actions

Assess your workplace for potential safety hazards, whether it is workers who are lifting heavy boxes or using sharp tools or wearing steel-toed boots. Corrective actions might include lowering weight limits on a machine, installing padding underneath a desk or mandating that workers wear hard hats. These types of precautions will keep your employees safe and productive at work every day.

Safety should be incorporated into your workplace culture, so you can plan corrective actions. Make sure to keep tabs on equipment maintenance and schedule repairs or replacements before a serious accident occurs. If you are concerned about an area of safety in your manufacturing business, it is important to address it as soon as possible. Working with a consultant who has expertise in safety management will help you create a safety program that works for your company’s needs.

 

Workplace Inspections

Keeping workplaces safe and regulated is an important part of manufacturing. It’s not a matter of if your business will be inspected by federal, state or city authorities, but when. Make sure you have everything in order and that workers are aware of all safety standards. If you follow all regulations, any negative impact from an inspection can be minimized.

If you follow all regulations, any negative impact from an inspection can be minimized. If your business is found in violation of safety standards during inspection, there are penalties that may include a fine or even a temporary shutdown of your facility. This can have a major impact on your business’s ability to produce and distribute goods and services. This is why it’s important for businesses in manufacturing industries to understand how workplace inspections work and what they mean for their company.

Many government agencies perform workplace inspections. The most common ones are by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) and MSHA (Mine Safety & Health Administration). Each agency has its own mission statement with specific goals, but they all serve as regulators to make sure businesses protect workers while operating in accordance with state laws.

Workplace inspections can occur at any time, without warning. It’s a good idea to contact your local government agencies well in advance of any scheduled visits and find out what will be covered during their inspection. Consider asking for a copy of your agency’s safety checklist for reference, as it’ll help you ensure that everything is up-to-date before an inspection begins.

 

Avoid Worker Burnout and Stress at Work

It’s a common misconception that manufacturing work is less stressful than office work. While some types of manufacturing jobs can be more physical, studies show that on average, workers in manufacturing experience higher rates of burnout and stress than their counterparts in other industries. Preventing worker burnout can be done by creating a culture of self-care and encouraging employees to take time off for mental health breaks when needed.

To give yourself a mental health break, it’s best to disconnect from work. This can be done by practicing mindfulness or doing an activity that is outside of your daily routine, such as playing a sport or participating in other social activities. The key is taking steps to prevent burnout before it begins. But what are some tangible steps employers can take? It all comes down to creating policies around self-care, integrating breaks into each day, and ensuring employees feel supported by their coworkers and managers.

While your goal may be for employees to avoid burnout, it’s also important that you remember that no two people are alike. That’s why it is essential that you recognize each person’s unique traits and build systems around them, instead of assuming everyone will perform at a similar level. For example, some individuals thrive on structure while others need less supervision. The key is to find out what works best for each individual employee. One way to do so is by conducting regular performance reviews with each worker and asking questions about their current workload or how they feel about their job in general. The answers they provide can help you determine whether they need more support or if they are ready for more responsibility. Remember, not all workers want more responsibility; in fact, many prefer less stress!

 

Use Good Housekeeping Practices

All manufacturing activities should be planned and conducted in accordance with good housekeeping practices (GHP). The GHP is a set of guidelines that guide manufacturers toward safe, secure and efficient operations. They are commonly accepted by all sectors of industry and are designed to be used in conjunction with other safety codes such as OSHA. GHP helps reduce health hazards, prevent fire accidents, improve worker productivity and save time by not reinventing quality control methods. When these principles are applied correctly they make an organization run more efficiently and effectively.

By applying good housekeeping practices, a manufacturer can achieve greater efficiency while maintaining quality. In fact, according to a study done by Purdue University’s National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), Good Housekeeping Practices can reduce your operating costs by as much as 5%! Additionally, if you are audited and following good housekeeping practices; you have less chance of receiving citations than those who do not.

There are 5 steps that have been identified as some of the most important and effective good housekeeping practices. They include; conduct a visual inspection, check products for defects, prevent accidents, protect equipment, and contain spills. By following these simple rules your company can decrease workplace hazards and increase productivity. Conducting a visual inspection will help you find safety hazards before someone gets hurt. Check products for defects helps eliminate production problems later on.

 

Additional information

By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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