Even with the new age of manufacturing coming in and automation becoming more prevalent in factories, there is still always going to be the need for factory workers. Machines today can do more than we ever thought possible, but at least for now, human factory workers are still necessary to keep everything up and running as smoothly as possible. More machines means more moving parts and automated processes. More moving parts and automation means more potentially hazardous situations for factory workers.
And with factory workers, safety has to be considered above everything else. So the question is — how safe is your factory?
Protect Workers From Machinery
As the manufacturing industry becomes more and more automated and more machines begin working in factories, it’s important to keep factory workers safe from the machinery. Here are two of the easiest ways to protect your workers from the machines in your factory.
Kill Switches on All Machinery
Without a doubt the most important way to prevent factory workers being injured by machinery in a factory is to have easily accessible kill switches on all machinery. Kill switches, as the name implies, are designed to kill power to the machine that they are attached to.
These switches — which can be a switch, a button, or even a lever — are usually red in color and very clearly indicated as being the kill switch for the machine. They should be easily accessible and easy to find so that if anything were to happen, anyone in the vicinity can immediately kill power and stop that machine as quickly as possible.
Clearly Mark the Reach of Machines
The easiest way to keep workers at a safe distance from the machinery in your factory is to clearly indicate how far away they should stay from the machines. This is most commonly done by using a bright-colored paint or tape on the ground and outlining either the outer reaches of the machine or by just indicating pathways that it’s safe to walk on.
Red or yellow are typically the best colors to use for this because of their high-visibility and inherent connotation of caution. If the factory has all sorts of machines everywhere, it would likely be easier to just mark the pathways that it’s safe to walk on where the workers will stay out of reach of any machinery.
When it comes to factories and pretty much any building — industrial, commercial, or residential — there are codes in place to protect the occupants of the building. Within a factory, there will be codes and standards that must be adhered to that include fire suppression, kill switches, clear pathways, and more.
While conforming to codes and standards always seems like a bit of pain during construction of the facility or any major renovation, they are designed to keep your factory safe and save lives. So if you’re building a new factory, undergoing a major renovation, or just want to upgrade the safety of your factory, check out the latest codes and standards that apply to your facility. Code compliance is one of the best ways to keep your factory as safe as possible.
A Clean Factory is a Safe Factory
Although it may seem like a cliché, a clean factory really is a safe factory. Think about your factory and all the things that could cause a mess. Maybe there are boxes everywhere being emptied or filled. Or there is a liquid being used for a number of different processes. Or perhaps there is a cutting or grinding process producing lots of scraps and sparks.
Now think about how any of the above could lead to a safety hazard. If anything happens in the factory and people need to head to the exits, having boxes piled up or a liquid spill on the path could lead to serious issues. These are just a couple of examples, but you can imagine how dangerous a messy workplace can be. So be sure to have a daily cleaning schedule that keeps the floor clear of debris. And it’ll also keep your factory looking brand new — it’s a win-win!
Education and Training of Employees
Lastly, but certainly not least, it is important to educate and train your employees on all of the other safety procedures listed here. Any safety protocol will be of no use if the employees are not properly educated and trained on what is expected of them and how to keep themselves and their fellow factory workers safe.
Ensure all employees know where kill switches are and where it’s safe to walk in the factory. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of a fire, including knowing the nearest exits or the location of a fire extinguisher. Have all employees get on board with the cleaning plan to keep everyone as safe as possible.
No matter what kind of factory you have or how many employees, the safety of your factory workers is always the number one priority. Follow these simple tips to keep your factory as safe as possible, and add a few of your own for your specific factory!
Interested in learning more? Visit our website www.premierautomation.com, or talk to one of our specialists today.