Safety is a priority in all industries but is a topic of oversight regulations in some to protect employees subject to increased risks of injuries. Those working with electrical currents, hazardous materials, heavy machinery and at extreme heights receive mandatory training in safety procedures and protocols. Along with regulated safety measures, there are several ways to improve safety levels daily.
Machinery used for manufacturing purposes often requires employees to be in close for efficient operation and productivity. The federal government regulations require any parts of these machines that have the potential to injure be safeguarded. One way to remain in compliance is to cover mechanical pinch points.
Customized drip pans are available to shield employees from spattering or leaking fluids and protect the machinery from dust, debris, vibration, or excessive heat. Sharp points or blades used for puncturing or sawing materials operate behind guards. These products are made to order to accommodate space restrictions, the work environment, and motion requirements for the machinery.
The culture of the company and the behavior of all employees contribute significantly to overall safety. Executives, supervisors, maintenance professionals, vendors, and production line employees need to be accountable for safety. Allowing time for visual inspections of machines and tools before a shift, providing proper personal protective equipment, and posting safety reminders are all ways to create a culture that prioritizes safety.
Conducting regular safety meetings is a proactive means to improving the safety record of the facility. Reviewing procedures, answering questions, and updating employees regarding any changes every month or every quarter will increase safety and reduce business liability. This practice will also save money on machine maintenance and repairs, as well as premiums for workers’ compensation insurance.
Keeping work areas free from clutter is essential to safety. Access to emergency machinery shut off switches or valves is crucial to avoid a major incident or injury. Walkways, exits, and stairs need to be clutter-free, dry, and clear of debris such as nails, screws, or anything that can cause injury to feet and tripping hazards.
The proper handling of toxic substances, hazardous materials, and flammable components will provide a boost in the safety of the company. Clearly mark special storage containers, rooms, and disposal areas to avoid confusion or contamination.
Recognition is a powerful motivator for maintaining priorities. Announcing the name of an employee with the best safety suggestion for each month is an example of motivating people to be diligent. It is cost-effective, encourages participation, and contributes to the emphasis on daily safety.
A tradition of providing lunch to all employees after one quarter without a safety violation or issue is also effective. Increase the workplace reward as the time span between injuries and incidents widens. An extended lunch period that is catered when the company enjoys six months of total safety compliance will ensure everyone pays careful attention to procedures.
It only takes a few seconds of carelessness, one exposed moving part, or a small amount of liquid on the floor to cause a major injury. The time, money, and effort invested in safety equipment and measures will be well worth it to avoid serious injury, a heavy fine for a violation, inventory loss, or premature machine replacement. Employees and machinery are the biggest assets to manufacturing companies so keeping both in excellent condition is wise.