In manufacturing, safety is everything. If employees aren't able to avoid accidents, it not only creates a bad working environment and potentially more oversight - it also puts companies behind on their production schedules.
With that in mind, companies should always strive to ensure they're meeting safety standards by following all of the below tips:
1) Signs everywhere
Workers should try to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and executives or supervisors should help them meet that standard on an ongoing basis, according to Arbill. Posting warning signs anywhere they're needed - if heavy or loud equipment is in use, if there's a fall risk, if it's a hard-hat area, etc. - is a must.
2) Give workers a break
It's never a good idea to have employees put their nose to the grindstone for especially long periods of time, Arbill added. When workers become fatigued, injury and accident risk increase significantly. Making sure they have a comfortable place to take a break and recover - even for 15 or 30 minutes at a time - helps ensure they're operating at peak capacity.
3) Keep exits and pathways clear
Clutter is an understandable byproduct of a busy work environment, but it's also a major hazard that can't be ignored, Arbill noted. Everyone on the shop floor needs to be able to work together to keep all well-trafficked areas clear.
4) Focus on maintenance
One of the most common causes of workplace accidents comes when older machines begin to exhibit wear and tear but the deterioration issues aren't addressed, according to the Safety Company. The same is true of tools that become worn out. Repairing or replacing these pieces of equipment regularly is necessary to maintain efficiency and safety.
5) Keep it clean
Much like it's important to keep walkways clear so there's no tripping or slipping risk, more must be done to keep every corner of the factory floor clean, the Safety Company pointed out. That means cleaning up debris, sweeping and mopping on a regular basis and generally doing more to keep everything clean. Dust, in particular, can be a major long-term health hazard, and must be cleared out regularly.
6) Better reporting
Workers should always feel comfortable reporting potential safety hazards and injuries or illnesses they've suffered on the job, the Safety Company advised. Fostering a company culture in which these issues are reported and recognized on an ongoing basis will help everyone maintain a better track record.
7) Buy-in from everyone
If just one person in a company of dozens or even hundreds isn't following recommended safety protocols, it can be a problem, according to Safety and Health Magazine. That means it's important for decision-makers to prioritize regular training sessions and incentivize a safe, clean work environment by any means necessary.
8) Write it down
It's easier for everyone to follow the basic rules of factory safety and wellness if they're clearly defined, Safety and Health Magazine cautioned. As such, companies should codify as many aspects of best practices around these issues as they can, so anyone can easily refer to the written requirements when an issue arises.
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