Running a manufacturing business is no small feat. Regardless of company size, manufacturers have several business factors to maintain and consider every day. Employee health and safety as well as job site safety is arguably the most important factor of a successful operation. Manufacturer worker safety is important both internally and externally. Most regulatory agencies require the establishment and compliance of safety programs to achieve certification. It is important to know what hazards to look for as well as what steps can be taken to mitigate those risks.
Risks of Manufacturing Work
Manufacturing is a critical industry, containing some very obvious dangers. Workers must interact with heavy machinery daily ; 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. Safety in the manufacturing industry 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.According to OSHA, there are five main hazards that manufacturing workers face daily.
Main Manufacturing Job Hazards:
- 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 Powered industrial trucks can cause injuries due to outdated machinery, and due to poorly trained operators.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.
Benefits of Industrial Safety Programs & Training
Developing thorough safety protocols that support and encourage safety culture within the workplace has many benefits. Safety programs that are geared towards your industry and your unique work environments help give your team the knowledge they need to perform their jobs safely. Frequent training that is easily accessible ensures everyone has the most current and accurate information.
Typical benefits of safety programs and trainings include:
- Increased employee awareness
- Decreased injuries & illness
- Limits potential hazards
- Prevents jobsite accidents
- Promotes strong safety culture
- Boosts job productivity
- Ensures ongoing safety compliance
Manufacturing Industry Safety Programs
There are many safety programs that you can adapt to your manufacturing company to protect your employees. 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. 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.
Most Beneficial Manufacturing Safety Programs
- Lock Out/Tagout
- Fall Protection and Prevention
- Machine Guarding
- Fire Prevention
- Chemical handling and storage
If your company primarily performs manufacturing work, then you may be asked by your hiring client to become certified with ISNetworld® or Avetta®. 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. Certification for manufacturing workers is common throughout the globe, and we can help you with this process no matter where you operate from.
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.
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