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3 Ways to Boost Safety in Manufacturing

Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Manufacturing remains one of the largest industries despite the rise of online services and virtual currencies. Manufacturing involves the processing of raw materials into finished products and necessitates the use of various heavy equipment during operation, which puts operators at risk while performing their job. Due to the high-risk nature of its activities, manufacturing safety is as important as, if not more than, having a high-quality product.

Here are three ways you can boost safety in your manufacturing business.

1. Organize regular, detailed discussions with employees.

It is important to establish good communication between employees and employers. A toolbox talk or daily huddle is helpful to ensure that employees understand the hazards associated with daily tasks before they commence work.

According to Rich Baldwin, Director of Health, Safety, and Environment at Orlando-based PCL Construction Enterprises and a STEP Gold member, “Toolbox talks have a significant positive impact on safety performance, especially when coupled with stretching exercises and preparation of each crew’s daily task plan.”

This notable result significantly affects employees’ performances and productivity. It fosters awareness and leaves an open line of communication that will help identify employees’ needs. From here, it is easier to organize and implement programs that can boost their morale, increase their productivity, and ensure their safety.

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2. Implement regular machine inspections.

Regular machine inspections should be performed to have an overall evaluation of equipment and production tools, which will also help identify defects or damages. Machine inspection reports should detail equipment repairs, adjustments, or replacements to ensure a safe and secure environment for employees. Finally, ensure employees are provided the right tools and equipment and that these are well maintained to avoid incidents that can lead to profit loss.

Before commencing work, perform basic checks and ask the following questions:

  • Are labels and signs unhindered, easily seen, and placed at eye level?
  • Do power tools conform with regulatory standards?
  • Are machines clean and free of dust, filings, oil, and other waste material?
  • Are wiring and other electrical components in good condition?
  • Are oils properly selected and properly replaced or filtered at appropriate intervals?

3. Conduct annual refresher training sessions.

Ongoing training is important to promote and maintain safety and quality in the workplace. Annual refresher training programs ensure all operators are up to date with safety measures so they can avoid serious injury and other incidents. It is the employer’s responsibility to comply with regulatory standards and processes to ensure safety protocols are implemented and followed by operators. Documented training tools are helpful in guiding operators in case they forget certain tasks or processes and can help them learn new skills that can boost their productivity and morale.

Operators play a vital role in the success of the manufacturing industry; your business won’t be able to produce high-quality goods without them. Your role as an employer is to protect your workers from any risk of harm by establishing a safe working space. As an added bonus, by doing this, your employees will know they are a valued, integral part of your business.

About the Author

Jona Tarlengco is a content writer for SafetyCulture, a software company that enables businesses to perform inspections using digital checklists.

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