Manufacturing is a critical industry, and it also contains some very obvious dangers. Workers must interact with heavy machinery daily — and these machines often contain enough force to crush a human bone instantly. This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the hazards that manufacturing workers face. Manufacturing safety has improved significantly over the years, but there are still many things that you can do within your workplace to ensure the well-being of your employees.
If your company primarily performs manufacturing work, then you may be asked by your hiring client to become certified — probably with ISNetworld® or Avetta®. Certification for manufacturing workers is common throughout the globe, and we can help you with this process no matter where you’re from. Keep reading to learn about the dangers of manufacturing work, and the safety programs you may need for your certification process.
Risks of Manufacturing Work
According to OSHA, there are five main hazards that manufacturing workers face daily. These are:
- Slips, trips, and falls: Manufacturing workers can slip on a greasy floor, or they can fall from heights if there are insufficient guardrails, or if they aren’t wearing proper PPE. Falls are the #1 cause of worker death, injury, and time away from work.
- Insufficient or improper machine guarding: Machine guarding is essential to keep workers safe, and to keep them at a proper distance from hazardous areas at all times. OSHA frequently cites manufacturing companies for the incorrect installation of machine guarding, and this type of hazard leads to countless struck by/caught in/caught between accidents.
- Powered industrial trucks: Many industrial trucks are used for manufacturing work, such as forklifts. Powered industrial trucks can cause injuries due to outdated machinery, and due to poorly trained operators.
- Electrocution and electrical fires: Nearly every piece of equipment within a manufacturing facility is powered by electricity. Incidents involving electricity are often caused by exposed wires, open electrical panels, and improperly installed equipment.
- Not following Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures: LOTO is a procedure that ensures machines are properly shut off and cannot start again until the completion of maintenance or repair. When LOTO protocols are ignored, maintenance workers can suffer severe injury or death.
Additionally, manufacturing workers can suffer from injuries due to high levels of noise, exposure to chemical solvents during manufacturing and cleaning processes, lifting awkward/heavy objects, and more.
Safety Programs for Manufacturing Workers
There are many safety programs that you can adapt to your manufacturing company to protect your employees. At Industrial Compliance & Safety, we will look at the specifications of your hiring client, the nature of your work, and the regulations of OSHA to write a series of custom safety programs for your company. Here are some of the most common safety programs required for manufacturing work:
- Lock Out/Tagout
- Fall Protection and Prevention
- Machine Guarding
- Fire Prevention
- Chemical handling and storage
Do I Need New Manufacturing Safety Programs?
If you’ve never been certified (with Avetta®, ISNetworld®, or a similar pre-qualification service), then you might not have a formal manual of safety programs for your company. To become certified, you must write a series of safety programs that comply with both the specifications of your hiring client and the OSHA regulations for your industry.
Having written safety programs is a great way to prevent workplace incidents and injuries. By having a formal series of safety programs, you can ensure that all employees have undergone the same training and are working with the same base of knowledge regarding workplace tools and materials. Otherwise, training can be disorganized and employees may not have a full understanding of safety practices.
If you have already been certified, you will be notified if you are required to update or add safety programs to your account. Additionally, you may consider updating your safety programs after an incident or near-miss, to prevent future incidents.