Operating a manufacturing company can be a highly lucrative endeavor, but it also comes with plenty of responsibility and accountability. Employers in this sector are expected to provide a safe workplace, with numerous regulatory bodies overseeing and enforcing occupational standards that can vary by industry and facility type. While there’s no substitute for knowing the exact regulations that apply to your business, you can start with the following four safety measures to cover the basics:
1. Use Equipment-Specific Safety Gear
Everyone knows about generic safety equipment suggestions like goggles, gloves, and a hard hat. However, it’s common for workers to deal with powerful, specialized equipment in the manufacturing sector. Many machines have specific safety gear that should be used during operation. For example, an employee using a drill press should also be using a safety shield to protect themselves from flying debris. Most safety gear is affordable enough to justify the extra expense, especially when you consider how much hassle and money it could save through accident prevention in the long-term.
2. Conduct Routine Safety inspections
Supervisors should be trained to conduct routine safety inspections on every shift. Make other employees aware of potential hazards or issues that should be reported to a supervisor immediately, as some corrections cannot wait for a scheduled inspection. Create a comprehensive checklist of areas and components that need to be checked during every shift. You can find plenty of safety audit checklist templates online to help you get started with this step.
3. Ensure Employees are Educated and Experienced
Educating your employees is perhaps the most important measure to take as the owner of a manufacturing business. Training topics should include the following key subjects:
- how to properly wear and use safety gear and equipment
- how to avoid slip and falls
- how to report potential issues to supervisors
- how to store objects in a manner that reduces the risk of product and property damage
- how to use proper posture when lifting objects
- when and where to take breaks
- proper work attire and footwear
Of course, a comprehensive orientation process will be highly specific to the job position, but starting with the core suggestions above should set you on the right track.
4. Practice Work Area Cleanliness and Organization
Finally, let’s not forget the importance of staying organized and clean at all times. Manufacturing facilities can be shut down or fined if certain cleanliness standards aren’t met. Furthermore, poor organization can heighten the risk of personal injury or property damage.
Your Safety Standards are Only as Good as Your Employees
Ultimately, if your employees fail to meet expectations regarding workplace safety, it won’t matter what kind of rules or systems you implement. Thus, it’s crucial that you hire observant and thorough managerial employees to act as enforcers and keep everything running as intended. Your on-site managers are the first line of defense you have against overlooked hazards that could result in injuries or lawsuits. In conclusion, by hiring the right supervisors and heeding the tips above you can effectively minimize the risk of encountering safety-related issues at your manufacturing business.