There are many different types of companies involved in manufacturing. Each has its own operational procedures and requirements. However, there are laws that govern safety and require employers to abide by certain rules and regulations. Since manufacturing environments vary across industries, there are unique hazards that might exist in one company but not in another. One thing is for sure, regardless of the niche or industry, there are ways to prevent costly injuries in every manufacturing facility. This is because most workplace injuries are preventable and occur due to simple mistakes.
Some of the most prevalent injuries are related to slips and falls. There are often spills that are either unreported or unknown. In fact, falls are the number one cause of death in the workplace. This is especially true in the construction industry, but it also applies to fast-paced manufacturing facilities. What typically happens is employees become too comfortable in the work setting and stop paying attention to hazard signs that provide warnings about specific areas where there is a potential for serious harm. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting use to accessing items from heights without following proper protocol.
Although less common than slips and falls, chemical exposure also poses a problem in manufacturing. Sometimes there simply isn’t an understanding of which chemicals pose a problem. While something like milling machine coolant might be non-toxic, it should still be handled in accordance with regulations. There are also a wide range of cleaning solutions that should be used based on guidelines. Employers must ensure due diligence by having clear instructions for all chemicals and liquids to ensure there is no confusion about what’s safe and what isn’t.
A serious concern that’s often life-threatening is electrical hazards. This is because they can lead to injuries to individual employees and fires that jeopardize all employees and company assets. Sometimes electrical hazards occur as a result of wires that are exposed or equipment that has been improperly installed. In locations where winter months result in rainy weather and snow, there’s an increased hazard in environments with a lot of electrical equipment. It’s because electric shock cases rise as workers enter buildings without realizing that weather conditions have left their shoes and work boots wet. This becomes a problem as they enter areas that have exposed wiring.
There’s no doubt that the single most important thing that an employer can do is provide the necessary training to prevent as many injuries as possible. In fact, there should be mandatory training provided regularly to ensure everyone in the building is aware of safety hazards and how to prevent them. There should also be clear guidelines posted within the facility and accessible online. From a legal perspective, many states require employers to have employees sign documents indicating that the necessary training has been completed. Even beyond what is regulated, it’s important to make sure all employees feel valued and protected in the workplace, which has been proven to increase productivity.