In a factory setting, safety is the most important thing your organization can prioritize, as even a minor accident can derail your production or shipping efforts for a day or more. As such, this is something you need to center in your operations on an ongoing basis, and there's no better time to redouble your efforts than June, which is designated as National Safety Month.
The following steps will help you get a better handle on all these efforts:
1) Train for safety, especially with new hires
You likely train for many things, including how to do various tasks safely, as a matter of course in your manufacturing facility — but you should add safety-specific training to the list, according to Safety Culture. That way, you can be confident everyone will know exactly what to do in every situation that could arise. This effort will be especially important when training new workers.
2) Keep an eye on repetitive-motion tasks
On the assembly line or loading dock, your workers will often make the same motion over and over again throughout their workdays, and that presents a safety hazard, Safety Culture advised. Repetitive-stress injuries are a very real issue that can sideline your employees for weeks, so you need to make sure they take adequate breaks and work at a pace that will keep them healthy.
3) Encourage a reporting culture
When someone spots a potential safety issue, they should report it as soon as possible, according to Vector Solutions. They should also be confident that this report will work its way up the ladder and be addressed by the appropriate people just as quickly.
4) Provide high-quality PPE
Your workers cannot work with full safety if their protective gear is the bare minimum or they're responsible for buying it on their own, Vector Solutions said. Your company should go above and beyond so that workers always have the best PPE available.
5) Find ways to reduce slips, trips and falls
Many workplace injuries happen because someone stumbles or slips on an obstacle or wet surface they didn't see, so you should take steps to reduce that risk, Vector Solutions further recommended. Keeping items out of heavily trafficked walkways and putting up signage around wet floors are musts.
6) Clean and organize regularly
Along similar lines to keeping walkways clear, you should also try to clean every surface in your facility, empty waste bins and organize shelving as often as is feasible, according to Houston Chronicle Small Business. When everyone can be efficient in their movements because your facility is as clean as possible, accident risk is reduced.
7) Evaluate which work conditions could be growing more dangerous
Finally, over time you may want to evaluate whether conditions in your facility are changing to the extent that safety precautions around them have to increase, Houston Chronicle Small Business added. For instance, even if you just add more workers over the course of six months or introduce a new production process, that may create a potentially more dangerous situation that you have to account for in your organization.