Staying Safe On the Job

Maintaining a safe work environment in your construction site or manufacturing plant is vital for your employees’ well-being and ongoing productivity. Accidents cost you money with a loss of trained workers, reduced production and increased insurance premiums. Safety in the workplace is more than just wearing brightly colored gear and following day-to-day protocol. Each sector has its own safety needs, but there are common manufacturing safety tips that help keep people, machines, and the workplace safe.

Safety Tips for Industrial & Manufacturing Industries

Within the industrial and manufacturing sectors, safety tips are numerous. Having a complete, holistic knowledge of your factory or workplace can truly contribute to the overall safety of everyone at the company. Manufacturers and their shop floor, warehouse, and field operations managers need to update themselves with what’s happening in workplaces within the entire organization. Even the smallest bit of carelessness can turn into a major worker injury or plant catastrophe.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that technology changes rapidly. This means that your equipment and operating procedures must change to keep up. Even minor changes in how machinery is connected to computers can leave you with a safety issue. As manufacturers increasingly adapt mobile solutions to manage processes, communicate or complete approvals, explain the importance of being aware of your surroundings and to not try and multi-task while walking on the shop floor. There are too many potential safety issues that could wipe out any productivity enhancements from your technology investments.

To help this process even further, you can make it mandatory for new employees to attend a comprehensive orientation session to be conducted by a trained safety instructor. These courses should also be updated as processes change, and needs shift in the manufacturing facility. For example, employees always complete additional training as new systems are released. As processes change, you can also have current employees complete additional training as necessary. Your current employees who are operating the equipment in your plant are the ones that are familiar with the hazards. They probably also have some good ideas on how to make improvements. You may find the shields for machinery no longer function properly and need replacement.

Having an emergency action plan also is an essential element to have that can be implemented during major emergencies. Employees should know what to do during a given emergency. Total or partial evacuation may be necessary depending on the gravity of the situation.

In the end, making safety an integral part of the operating processes is a technique that helps create a safety culture within the organization. Overall design is critical when it comes to safety. Embedding the safety rules into your employees daily routine and making them aware of their responsibilities makes it easier for them to follow the rules because safety becomes part of their daily working lives. Safety really starts at the top. You can preach as much as you want to about a safe working environment, but if you do not back this up with actions, your words are meaningless. You also need to make each worker responsible for his/her own safety and the safety of others. Having one person acting as a safety manager is fine, but all employees must feel involved.

For more information, visit the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) website.