In the manufacturing sector, a company's top priority should be to protect its workers at all costs as they go about their daily duties. However, there is only so much that can be done at an organizational level and, at some point, individual responsibility needs to be taken to ensure that all potential accidents are avoided to the fullest extent.
What does that mean for you, as a manufacturing employee? The following steps should help you keep yourself and your coworkers safe on a daily basis:
1) Make maintenance a priority
One of the most important aspects of working in a factory is, of course, that you rely on various pieces of heavy equipment — from machines used in the production process to forklifts on the loading dock — to get your job done each day, according to The Safety Company. This comes with some inherent danger that cannot be reduced to zero, but proper maintenance will be critical to ensuring these machines work as expected and do not experience a critical failure that reduces both productivity and worker safety.
2) Clean up consistently
A clean industrial facility isn't just important for ensuring the site looks its best — it's also a critical part of organizational safety, The Safety Company advised. Why? Even a small spill or piece of debris can pose a tripping hazard or get caught up in the wheels and axles of a cart, needlessly increasing risk for everyone working on the factory floor. As such, you should always aim to be proactive about cleaning up anything lying on the floor or blocking paths, never taking the mindset that cleaning up is "someone else's job."
3) Always wear high-quality PPE
In most industrial settings, you will be provided with at least some pieces of protective gear, be it safety goggles, work gloves, hard hats or whatever else is appropriate to your job, according to Safety Talk Ideas. It's your duty to not only make sure you are wearing them properly at all times, but also to inspect this gear to ensure that it's in good shape and won't put you at risk. If you spot any potential issues with your PPE, you should either be able to report it to get a replacement, or (ideally) your employer will have plenty of spares available to provide an easy replacement.
4) Inspect all equipment carefully before use
Along similar lines to your PPE, you should also be highly proactive about conducting a brief but thorough visual inspection of the machines you will use on the job, according to Griffin Safety Training. That way, you will be able to identify any potential problems and, if none exist, ensure the machine will work effectively throughout your shift so that you can keep doing your job effectively and without putting yourself or others at risk. This might be especially important when it comes to production machines or heavy equipment that transports raw materials, completed products and the like.