On the factory floor, there are few places as fraught with potential danger as the area where production happens. That's just a fact of life, but there are certainly ways to keep accident risk to a minimum, and you should always strive to ensure employees are as protected as possible. Certainly, that includes training around the right approaches to the job, but there's more that must be done.
The following suggestions could help in that regard:
1) Put up the right signage
First and foremost, manufacturing managers or executives need to understand that a little visual reinforcement of the proper behaviors can truly go a long way, according to Creative Safety Supply. Putting up signs reminding people where they need to be wearing certain types of protective gear, where some dangers are greater than others and so on will all be a good start for a better safety culture.
2) Keep it as quiet as possible
Often, factories are noisy places, and that naturally makes it more difficult for workers to communicate, or be aware of potential risks, Creative Safety Supply warned. For that reason, companies would be wise to do what they can to reduce noise as much as possible, and enable better communication between coworkers in other ways, as necessary.
3) Provide plenty of PPE
Every time someone shows up for work, they should have the confidence they are properly protected with high-quality safety gear, according to EHS Today. That could be as simple as some safety gloves, but could also include hard hats, goggles, reflective vests and so on. By supplying them, companies help ensure this gear is in the best possible shape.
4) Keep ergonomics in mind
Lots of injuries that arise in manufacturing are actually due to repetitive stress, rather than a single dangerous action, EHS Today said. When employees on the production line are making the same motion hundreds or more times per day, it can lead to serious wear and tear. With that in mind, anything you can do to reduce those kinds of injuries can be a huge help.
5) Create a culture of safety and reporting
When it comes to getting everyone onboard with your efforts, it's important to encourage workers to be more proactive about identifying risks and reporting them to a manager, EHS Today added. That way, there's very little left to chance and you will have the opportunity to address hazards before they lead to a negative incident.
6) Make sure people know who's responsible for what
Along similar lines, it's a good idea to clearly delineate who is responsible for what, so that when risk arises, it can be reported to the proper person, according to IndustryWeek. Sometimes, hazards are something that can be handled directly by the employee, but that's not always the case, and they need to know who to turn to.
7) Incentivize a good approach
When companies have a good safety record, a great way to reinforce the behavior that led to it is by providing rewards, IndustryWeek advised. For instance, every 100 days your company goes without an on-site accident, you might want to reward workers in some way so they draw a clear line in their heads between the right actions and an incentive.