While safety in the manufacturing industry has improved over the years, safety hazards are still a concern. Humans remain at the center of today’s manufacturing processes and are at risk when handling materials and manipulating machinery.
Almost no work environment is as hazardous as manufacturing, and injury prevention starts at being aware of these hazards.
Falls are a common injury among workers, especially in a construction environment. High places can be one of the biggest hazards in your workplace. Fall-protection equipment should be in place for when on ladders, cherry-pickers and other raised equipment.
Manufacturer employees are exposed to improperly installed machine guards and hazards. Proper machine guarding is essential for workers operating heavy machinery.
Maneuvering a factory vehicle can result in a serious injury if done carelessly. Like workers in high places, the workers operating heavy machinery should be aware of how they can prevent injuries. It is important to constantly know who is surrounding the machinery and a spotter should be guiding the operator.
Hearing loss is also a common work-related injury among workers in the manufacturing industry. Spending long days with loud machinery can gradually affect your hearing. Using ear plugs and other personal protective equipment may help control the loss of hearing. Also, limit the time each person spends at the noise source.
Dangerous chemicals can be anywhere in a manufacturing environment. Any material that is hazardous should have clear labels. If exposed to the chemical source, there should be instructions for treating it and if necessary, an evacuation plan. Employees should receive training on how to recognize the signs of a chemical exposure and symptoms that they or their coworkers may have if exposed.
Safety should be a leadership priority
If management is evaluating workers solely on production output and not including safety, the safety of the workplace will be compromised. The top level of the organization must prioritize safety to set the tone and values in their environment.
With a strong commitment to safety, companies and workers can prevent manufacturing hazards.