Employee safety should be a top objective for any company, but given the risks involved in many manufacturing processes, factories need to place particular emphasis on the effort. Often, common sense will be the biggest driver of reducing risk, but companies should make sure all the proper investments are being made on an ongoing basis, in terms of both resources and manpower.
Here are six ways to improve your factory's safety record with relative ease:
1) Increase communication
No one is going to know your facility better than the people who work in it, and they should be empowered and encouraged to report any potential safety issues they spot, according to Convergence Training. Likewise, their supervisors should have the power to address these concerns directly or kick them up the chain of decision-makers so that they are evaluated and addressed as quickly as possible. The longer problems linger, the more likely they will be to cause bigger issues.
2) Invest in safety equipment
When companies have all the right safety equipment - goggles, hard hats, safety gloves, etc. - on hand, workers are far less likely to be injured in workplace accidents, Convergence noted. Any manufacturer should provide these items in the first place, but it's also important to have the highest-quality equipment possible, and to also regularly replace the worn-out or otherwise damaged items they have.
3) Train for proper tool and machine use
While most manufacturers make a point of heavily training new hires, even the many factory workers who have been using their machines every day for years or more could probably use the occasional refresher, according to Arbill. When companies make sure they have regular education sessions as part of their operations, they are more likely to reduce workplace accidents.
4) Provide mechanical assistance when needed
Along similar lines to having the right safety equipment in place, it's a good idea for companies to have items like dollies, pallet jacks and forklifts on hand to help reduce the physical strain on workers, Arbill advised. Regular training for proper use of such equipment is also a must, as is ensuring proper licensure for forklift operators in particular.
5) Clean up spills and debris
Slipping and tripping is often one of the biggest causes of workplace accidents - ahead of concerns like falls from height or mechanical failure - so it should be a manufacturer's priority to ensure floors are kept clean at all times, according to the Safety Company. Making this a company priority and, again, empowering employees to report spills or debris they spot in the course of their daily work, will help reduce dangerous incidents significantly.
6) Routine maintenance
Any machines, tools and other equipment that gets used in the factory on a daily basis should be subject to regular inspection and maintenance as needed, the Safety Company added. There are plenty of ways to identify potential issues before equipment fails, and companies need to prioritize those efforts to prevent some workplace accidents.
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