Keeping workers safe on the job should be the key mission of every company, but the risks are obviously greater in a factory setting. For that reason, manufacturing businesses would be wise to make heavy investments in safety efforts, whether that entails broadening training (and retraining) objectives, boosting maintenance efforts or simply putting more money into buying and replacing all necessary equipment.
When doing the latter, however, there are six pieces of equipment that may be particularly vital to ensuring a safe work environment:
1) Eye and ear protection
Just about any factory setting will at least occasionally have a situation in which loud noises, bright lights or other issues can do damage to a worker's eyes or ears, according to Acuity Insurance. As such, it's vital to make sure workers have high-quality safety goggles over their eyes at all times, as well as either earplugs or earmuffs that will protect their hearing near loud machines or other equipment.
Along similar lines, it's also a good idea to have a number of eye wash stations and emergency showers scattered throughout your facility so that they're always close by when needed.
2) Solid shoes
One of the biggest causes of workplace accidents is slip-and-falls, and it should not be incumbent upon workers to bring their own footwear to work, Acuity Insurance added. This provides too much wiggle room for worn-out treads and soft shoes to be worn on the factory floor. Instead, providing workers with good, hard boots or shoes with steel toes and thick, heavy treads is a great way to reduce injury risk.
3) High-tech gas and fire detectors
One thing that many companies may not consider is the necessity of having fully up-to-date smoke, fire and chemical detectors that are in good working order (and are easily accessible in case batteries need to be changed), according to Slice Products. It's a generally good idea to make sure these are placed strategically throughout your facilities to ensure no issues go undetected for longer than a few seconds.
4) Proper signage and markings
Throughout your facility, you should always have signs that let people know what kinds of situations they're getting into, Slice Products advised. Areas where there are flammable or otherwise dangerous materials should be marked as such. Areas around spills should be blocked off with cones or other clear warnings to avoid the space, exits - and especially emergency exits - should be clearly visible to anyone in their immediate area, and so on.
5) Head and hand protection
While many companies may not feel that wearing hard hats or other headgear on the factory floor is a necessity, it's always better to be safe than sorry, according to MSC Direct. The same is true of hand protection like cut- or chemical-resistant gloves that will help keep workers safe even if their extremities stray too close to dangerous equipment.
In addition to all this, companies should also strive to make sure they are inspecting and replacing any worn-out equipment and otherwise adding more safety gear to their facilities on a regular, as-needed basis.
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