Creating a completely safe work environment in an industrial manufacturing facility is not a simple task, but most pressure points fall into a few basic categories. Consider the three top safety concerns in manufacturing to identify where your facility could benefit from safety policies and practices.
Make sure that all employees are aware of hearing and eye protection, fire and mechanical hazards, and chemical exposure procedures. Wearing protective equipment such as goggles, gloves, dust masks, and appropriate clothing can circumvent health hazards before an emergency occurs.
Employees should be formally trained and self-aware around machinery with potentially hazardous moving parts, such as exposed gears, compressed spaces, sharp edges, or even loose wiring and cords. Install safety guards or sensors around machinery whenever possible. Employees must know proper procedure automatically in emergencies, such as where to locate fire exits or extinguishers, or where to locate first aid kits and wash stations.
Take the time to identify and neutralize long-term health risks or hazardous equipment, and always train employees to recognize and know how to respond to common manufacturing dangers.
Even if you faithfully install safeguards, and train your employees, guests from outside the company or even from other departments may not realize the dangers. It can be difficult to keep track of everyone in large facilities at once, but unauthorized and untrained visitors are at the greatest risk for injury. It’s important to create highly conspicuous restricted area warnings and establish obstacles to free access whenever possible, such as requiring key cards for doors or attendants for visitors who sign-in to the building. Be conscious of the flow of people throughout your facility and strongly encourage employees to look out for each other and especially for visitors.
Maintenance and Neglect
Routine inspections do not necessarily guarantee equipment safety. In addition to having your machinery inspected and repaired by professionals, employees who use the machines frequently should not only know how the machines works, but also be able to perform informal inspections before, during, or after use.
Small but frequent equipment maintenance will not only increase the machinery’s longevity and maintain production quality, but also prevent major safety hazards before they occur. Set up a maintenance schedule or policy and enforce it so that inspections become a reflex, not an afterthought.
Premier Automation can guide you through equipment repair and maintenance. Consult our engineers for more information on specific equipment or your overall system.