Following safety standards in manufacturing provides welfare for employees and improves their working conditions. Undoubtedly, a safe work environment increases employee productivity and efficiency. The implementation of well-thought-out safety programs reduces costs for injuries and insurance claims in the manufacturing sector.
Different Approaches To The Safety Of A Work Environment
Most manufacturing companies are concerned about supporting a decent reputation and smart management of all their business processes. They want to be reliable and safe for their workers.
But some manufacturing companies tend to ignore the safety of a workplace. Such irresponsible behavior increases the risk of employee trauma, illness, and even death. In addition to that, it causes the necessity of compensation pay-outs and recovery costs for workers, payments for lawyers, and legal fees. Eventually, a constant resurgence of workplace accidents at the factory can destroy the good reputation of any company.
The Essentials Of Maintaining Safety In Manufacturing
Employers need to take significant steps to improve employee manufacturing safety.
Boost Safety In Manufacturing With Effective Training Programs
Companies can start with implementing employee training programs to acquaint them with safety techniques. With such training programs and proper procedures, workers will be aware of workplace information to stay safe in the manufacturing sector.
Production managers should start the daily/weekly discussion of safety issues to determine existing and new safety problems and update safety and health programs. That’s a great way to create and support the culture of safety within manufacturing companies.
Effective two-way communication between employees and managers is required in order to maintain manufacturing safety. Managers should care about employees’ well-being and employees must comply with all workplace safety measures. When everybody works well, keeping safety in mind, it really can help to cut down on the risk of injuries.
Employees need to:
- report manufacturing accidents or injuries immediately if they happen during their work shift
- clean up spills of liquid (water) to prevent slip-and-fall accidents
- wear relevant personal protection equipment (PPE)
- use and operate tools according to the manufacturing instructions
- operate heavy machinery (forklifts) for manufacturing various products (for instance, high precision moulds) only after the successful completion of special training
- don’t operate forklifts unless the operator has signaled that it’s safe
What Is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Wearing relevant personal protection equipment (PPE) is a significant element of manufacturing safety. PPE includes protective clothing and glasses, as well as foot, head, and hearing protection, and other equipment designed to defend the employees from traumas and infections, or at least minimize exposure to a variety of hazards.
Each manufacturing company (its managers) needs to take such steps:
- buy the appropriate PPE
- organize training for employees to explain the techniques of wearing and utilizing the PPE
Employees need to:
- attend training and learn the techniques of wearing and utilizing the PPE
- assess and maintain the relevant PPE that is required to manage each task
- be clothed in a proper way (for instance, wearing hearing protection can defend from noise and wearing eye protection can defend from flying objects)
Machine Guarding For Employee Safety
Machine guarding, such as barrier guards, two-hand operating devices, and light curtains, is an important factor of manufacturing safety. The goal is to protect the machine operator and other employees in the workspace from hazards created by rotating parts, and flying chips and sparks.
Mark Hazards With Warning Symbols
Including the marking of manufacturing hazards in a workplace safety program is a great way to prevent occupational injuries during the workday. Post obvious warning signs on potential hazards and block off zones which contain a high level of dangerous substances, such as heat and acids, and even machinery in walkways. Otherwise, the absence of safety signs can cause industrial injuries and illnesses for manufacturing workers.
The Necessity Of Small Production Breaks
Repetitive manufacturing production refers to the monotonous work done by employees for hours at a time. It can lead to a seriously fatigued workforce and cause industrial accidents, serious injuries, and other occupational health risks. The managers of manufacturing companies need to organize small production breaks to make the workplace safe and reduce the level of fatigue and stress. Unfortunately, besides manufacturing traumas, emotional exhaustion can cause drug and/or alcohol abuse among workers.
Creating A Drug-Free Workplace
Manufacturing companies need to enforce the legal obligation of employee’s drug testing to organize a safe and drug-free workplace. Such a solution can prevent drug use in a manufacturing environment. Of course, drug abuse has a negative influence on the productivity of drug-addicted employees and their co-workers, causes risks to their health and well-being, and destroys moral values among the whole production team. This does not promote a safe and healthy working environment.
Ergonomic Standards For Manufacturing
Ergonomics are an important element of an effective occupational safety and health program in the manufacturing sector. Following ergonomic standards helps to prevent hazards which are connected with:
- repetitive movements
- manual handling
- faulty design of a manufacturing workplace
- uncomfortable body posture
Ergonomic working conditions, such as the smart design of production lines and providing enough workspace between various equipment, are essential to avoid most of the injuries which are related to manufacturing tasks.
When Ron Harbour, a partner at consultant firm Oliver Wyman, summed up Germany’s investment in prolonging employee working life, he emphasized that ergonomically designed workplaces are a relatively inexpensive way to keep workers engaged. “When you look at what a company pays for worker compensation, particularly back injuries and chronic injuries, it’s a no-brainer,” he said.
To Know More
Since the foundation of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) in 1996, it has become a central hub for the dissemination of occupational safety and health knowledge in Europe. It’s the significant factor of increasing knowledge about workplace safety among German employers and employees.
In 2014, EU-OSHA found that 72% of workplaces in Germany had at least one safety delegate and 25% had a health and safety committee. (The figures are for workplaces with five or more employees.)
The Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) encourages companies to invest in Germany, stimulate innovations, a safe environment, and the creation of jobs. Such strong employer associations help to provide safe and fair working conditions in Germany.
Safety Management Software
To create a safe work environment, manufacturing companies attract contractors that can provide safety management software. Such a management solution allows them to track, analyze, and report on key safety data and metrics.