Workplace safety is vital, particularly in high-risk fields like manufacturing. Ensuring the well-being of employees requires constant vigilance. One way to encourage a safe work environment is to review best practices and rules with your company. These safety guidelines and concepts can be applied to most manufacturing operations and will help keep employees safe and informed.
What Is Manufacturing Safety?
Manufacturing safety is the practice of preventing accidents, injuries, and illnesses in a manufacturing environment. It involves the implementation of safety protocols and procedures to protect employees from potential hazards present in the workplace. Manufacturing processes safety also includes providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses, gloves, hard hats, and other items to keep workers safe from potential dangers. Additionally, it requires employers to provide adequate training for their staff on how to safely handle hazardous materials.
The Importance of Safety in Manufacturing
Safety is essential for any industry, but especially in manufacturing, which often involves using dangerous machinery and chemicals for production processes. Accidents can lead to severe injuries, long-term illnesses, or even death. To ensure that all personnel are safe in the manufacturing environment, employers must implement comprehensive safety procedures that address all potential hazards in the workspace.
11 Topics & Rules To Ensure Manufacturing Safety
Make sure to review relevant health and safety topics with workers. These 11 best practices are an excellent reminder for all manufacturing industry professionals.
1. Use Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for protecting workers from potential harm while working with machinery or handling hazardous materials. This includes items such as safety glasses , gloves, hard hats, face shields, and respirators – depending on what type of work is being done. Employers must provide PPE that meets OSHA standards so that workers have access to gear to keep them safe while performing their job duties.
2. Promote Safe Work Techniques And Workplace Ergonomics
Employers should promote safe work techniques among their staff by educating them on proper posture when operating machinery or performing tasks with heavy loads. This helps reduce strain on muscles and joints which can lead to musculoskeletal disorders over time.
Additionally, employers should encourage ergonomic design principles within their workplaces. Ergonomic workspaces are designed according to human body measurements so workers are comfortable while performing their job duties. Reduction of unnecessary strain and awkward posture or movements protects employees from sprains, fractures, falls, joint damage, and other common manufacturing health issues.
3. Install Safeguards On Equipment
Safeguards are an essential component of manufacturing safety because they help prevent accidents before they happen. If hazardous materials or dangerous machinery are left unguarded, it is easy for an employee to accidentally injure themselves. Employers should install safeguards around moving parts on machines or covers over chemical containers so that personnel cannot come into contact with these elements by accident.
4. Establish An Emergency Response Plan
It’s important for employers in the manufacturing industry to establish an emergency response plan prior to something going wrong during production processes. This plan should include steps for responding to different types of emergencies – from fires to falls and everything in between. The plan should also specify who is responsible for carrying out each step and how long it should take before everyone has been evacuated from the premises safely. In an emergency situation, people often have difficulty thinking clearly. Having an emergency response plan ready, with workers properly trained and drilled ahead of time, helps minimize casualties during these high-stress incidents.
5. Deliver Consistent Safety Training To Employees
Manufacturing safety requires ongoing training as new technologies and processes arise. Therefore, regular refresher courses must be provided so that employees stay up-to-date with current regulations and best practices. Employers should also provide training sessions whenever new equipment is introduced into the workspace. Failing to update training and processes when new technology is added put teams at risk for misuse or injury.
6. Communicate Often With Your Employees
Communication between supervisors and employees plays a key role in creating a healthy work culture focused on safety. Employers should strive towards open communication channels where workers feel comfortable asking questions. This helps create an atmosphere where personnel feel valued, appreciated, and respected. Most importantly, it makes for a safer workplace where employees can raise any safety concerns without hesitation.
7. Appoint Qualified Leaders
Appointing qualified leaders who possess both technical knowledge and managerial skills is essential. Individuals holding higher positions should have a deep understanding of safety programs and health hazard awareness. Make sure your managers and supervisors are leading by example to encourage a safe and positive workplace.
8. Conduct Regular Safety Audits
Regular audits are necessary to ensure regulatory board and OSHA standards compliance. These inspections involve examining records associated with employee health and well-being, alongside evaluating the physical conditions of workspaces. Lighting conditions, equipment maintenance, ventilation rates, PPE usage, and general risk assessment should be confirmed. Tracking incident reports and remedying any problem areas or tasks is a must. By conducting regular audits, business owners gain insight into what is and isn’t working when it comes to occupational safety standards.
9. Signify Zones In The Warehouse
Zones signify specific areas designated for dangerous processes or hazardous materials handling. Zones should be clearly marked with caution tape, bright colors, and signs indicating areas with dangerous machinery or hazardous materials. Certain zones may be labeled off-limits without the proper training and safety gear in place. Having zones clearly specified allows personnel to understand which spaces require extra caution when entering – thus reducing accidents. Furthermore, zoned areas make it easier for supervisors to quickly identify someone trespassing in prohibited areas and intervene if necessary.
10. Laminate Documents With Safety Instructions
It’s important to have documented safety programs and standards that are readily available to employees. Unfortunately, paper documents can get lost or damaged easily, given the nature of many warehouses. Laminating documents or storing them in binders keeps vital information safe from spills or rips. It can also be helpful to attach documents to their designated areas with a short chain. This ensures employees can’t accidentally misplace them or have difficulty finding them in an emergency.
11. Make Sure The Equipment Tools And Machines Are Used Properly
Ensuring the correct usage of tools, machines, and equipment is a crucial part of keeping everyone safe while working inside a warehouse. Supervisors need to train personnel thoroughly regarding operation and correct any workers using machinery in an unsafe manner. Furthermore, supervisors need to regularly inspect tools and machinery to make sure everything is functioning correctly. Worn-out parts should be replaced immediately, and broken mechanisms should be shut down to prevent malfunctions and accidents.
If you want to protect your team against injuries and workplace accidents, look to Amerisafe. Reach out to us today to learn how our safety and occupational health consulting services can help keep your team safe and maintain a healthy work environment.