Did you know that June is National Safety Month? The emphasis is on the safety issues surrounding workers who engage in high-risk manufacturing activities.
Along with causing irreparable damage to workers, workplace accidents have a negative impact on productivity. These are reasons why identification and minimization of potential hazards is important. The safety of your workers has to be your top priority.
Use these strategies to increase the safety of your manufacturing workers.
1. Assess the Risks of the Work Environment
Effective risk assessment helps you stay aware of potential hazards and the need for equipment maintenance and repairs. You may want to use structured techniques such as the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) or the Andon board to assess and manage safety risks.
FMEA can foresee the potential failures and safety issues in the manufacturing process. This technique uses factors such as the severity of the issue, its occurrence, and the ease of detection to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of the work environment.
The Andon board sends a signal to the manufacturing team about a potential defect or issue with the equipment. The detection of potential hazards in a system lets the team take the appropriate action.
2. Keep Work Areas Clean and Organized
Work areas that are cluttered, wet, or greasy increase the risk of trips, slips, falls, and fires. Having power cords, stinger leads, cylinder hoses, or other objects lying around the walkways increases the odds of injuries occurring.
To lower the risk of accidents, ensure the aisles, walkways, and workstations are clean and free from objects and equipment. For instance, if the floor near a workstation becomes wet or greasy, place a barricade with caution tape around the area. Also, get rid of scrap, metal shavings, and flammable material by placing them in designated bins.
Keep the walkways free of equipment such as racks, pallets, hoses, and power cords. Also, arrange the equipment and accessories in an organized manner to reduce the risk of injuries.
3. Require the Use of Safety Gear
Wearing protective gear while working reduces the risk of injuries. This may include personal protective equipment (PPE) such as rubber gloves, safety hoods and shoes, earplugs, hard hats, respirators, and full bodysuits.
For instance, sheet metal workers need to wear hard hats when moving heavy metal sheets overhead. Also, electric arc welders must wear sturdy rubber gloves and rubber-toed boots to protect themselves from electrocution. They have to wear goggles and welding hoods to protect themselves from ultraviolet and infrared radiation burns and toxic welding fumes.
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