According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the manufacturing industry receives an average of about 400,000 reports for non-fatal injuries and a little over 300 cases of work-related fatalities each year. With over 12 million people employed in the industry, that means 3 out of every 100 workers get involved in work-related accidents.
Each work-related accident in the manufacturing industry can lead to heavy losses for companies in more ways than one. Aside from the involved employee having reduced productivity, other consequences such as lawsuits, compensation, and even lower workforce morale can have a lingering effect on businesses.Fortunately, you can improve the safety on the manufacturing floor with these safety tips.
- Automate the Production Process
Any time your workers are operating on the manufacturing floor, they are at risk of getting into work-related accidents. However, it’s possible to reduce the risk by deferring some worker tasks to robots and other machines designed to automate certain parts of the production process. The more tasks are automated, the less workers are exposed to risks.
For example, sharp or heavy workpiecescan be moved or processed using machines with ball screw linear actuators and powerful motors—a process which, if done manually, could pose a serious risk to workers. Automating the process also helps reduce mistakes caused by human error, reducing the need for redoing batches of products.
- Update Your Safety Training
While safety training is mandatory for all companies in the manufacturing industry, there are many companies thatdo not bother tackling anything beyond basic safety procedures. Safety training should be done on a regular basis, especially if recent changes to the safety protocol were implemented.
Employees must also be aware of what to do given situations unique to the manufacturing floor’s environment. For example, if working imposes burning hazards, everyone on the floor must know the proper emergency responses for dealing with burn damage. If there are chemicals present onthe floor, they must also be able to discern signs of chemical exposure.
- Improve Equipment Training
If safety training is mostly about what to do when an accident occurs, equipment training is mostly about keeping these accidents from happening in the first place. The more your workers are acquainted with the tools and equipment they are working with, the lower the chances of injuries caused by using equipment the wrong way.
Equipment training also extends the lifespan of your equipment, which also has a big impact on the safety of the work floor. For example, if a machine is never put under too much load, there’s a lowerrisk of it overheating and creating a potential fire hazard.
- Ensure Proper Protocols are Observed
Many work-related accidents are a result of worker negligence. Being too familiar with the work, some workers may consider doing away with standard protocols to cut corners and get the job done. Protocols are established not just to ensure consistent production, but also to help reduce safety risks on the manufacturing floor.
Makes sure that the workers are sticking to proper protocol all the time. If necessary, you could consider training your supervisors to be more observant. Having safety signs and instructions placed where workers can easily see them also helps remind them to follow protocols and emphasize the importance of them during regular equipment training.
There are no sure-fire methods of keeping any work environment 100% safe from accidents, but being more diligent with minimizing the risks goes a long way in keeping your employees safe from work-related injuries.