One of the most critical responsibilities of a company is to ensure the protection of its workforce. Hence, employers must implement detailed safety practices to prevent workplace accidents.
Preventive measures are crucial in manufacturing, where employees handle complex equipment and are frequently exposed to potentially dangerous conditions. In line with this, the first step to mitigating risks is knowing the most common work-related injuries sustained in manufacturing sites. This way, safety managers can effectively identify, address and eliminate hazards.
Preventing accidents in the manufacturing industry
Since manufacturing tasks are physically demanding, workers tend to overexert themselves, which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders. Moreover, long-term exposure to toxic substances can cause many illnesses, including cancer.
In addition, slips and falls are more threatening in manufacturing facilities than in conventional office spaces. They can easily result in head injuries, broken bones, fractures, spinal cord injury and even death.
While it's impossible to eradicate the chances of an accident, there are many ways to minimize risks. Below, we'll discuss these steps in further detail.
1. Perform thorough risk assessments
To prevent accidents, it's important to be aware of all workplace safety threats. Inspect the facility inside out and identify any dangerous infrastructure or equipment. Moreover, evaluate the daily operations and look into every work activity. Finally, it's best to ask employees about their safety concerns and the tasks they find most strenuous.
After identifying hazards, address them accordingly. For instance, malfunctioning equipment should be fixed or replaced. Potentially hazardous practices should be changed or controlled. It's also necessary to check for any slippery surfaces and unstable scaffoldings.
Installing fixed ladders is a practical way to decrease risks presented by unsteady, mobile ladders. However, keep in mind that there are fixed ladder safety guidelines employees need to follow to ensure safety.
2. Keep the workplace clean
Accidents are much less likely to happen when the worksite is orderly and clean. Conversely, unorganized and cluttered environments are filled with machinery and materials that can become tripping hazards or fall on workers as they conduct their duties.
Make sure there are no wirings and cables across corridors. Employers should also encourage employees to tidy up their surroundings after completing their tasks. Require workers to clean up spillages immediately, especially when dealing with hazardous chemicals.
Furthermore, hiring a commercial cleaning service provider may be best since they are trained in proper facility sanitation practices. They also know how to handle equipment and harmful substances safely.
3. Screen new hires meticulously
This may seem obvious, but ensuring that your potential employees have the professional experience and physiological fitness needed to perform all their expected duties safely can go a long way towards keeping workers safe.
If the position you're looking to fill demands a lot of labor, you may include a physical capability evaluation that can be done at a physical therapy clinic. This is crucial for jobs that involve handling heavy equipment, repetitive or rigorous tasks, exposure to harmful compounds and performing highly specialized activities.
Ensure your employees are licensed or certified in their field of expertise and provide them with supplementary training.
4. Require the use of appropriate safety equipment
Using personal protective equipment (PPE) is a great way to help reduce factory injuries since these are specially designed for workers' safety while on the job. This may include protective eyeglasses, gloves, footwear, helmets and headgear and specialized clothing.
Employers must assess the PPE necessary for the position and make it available to their employees. Additionally, workers should be fitted with the gear to ensure proper protection. You should also instruct your personnel on when and how to use the equipment properly. Moreover, don't forget to guide your employees about properly cleaning and maintaining their PPEs.
5. Communicate with employees directly
Employees may fail to follow the established regulations accurately without clear and consistent communication. That's why it's crucial to explain all safety procedures to the staff properly. It's also essential to get feedback from the employees since they are most familiar with their jobs and can offer advice on improving the guidelines.
Furthermore, you must provide employees with detailed process manuals or other materials they can refer to when needed. Remember, a company may have the best strategies, but without sufficient training and timely communication, they may as well not exist.
Keeping employees safe at work
Employees are the backbone and lifeblood of any organization. Therefore, safeguarding their health and well-being is key to ensuring corporate growth. Moreover, personal injury cases and other legal disputes are detrimental to the reputation of a business. Hence, it's important to take preventive measures, not just for the workers' safety and the company's image and success.