All manufacturing environments have safety hazards; it’s simply a fact for every company operating in the industry. By understanding what dangerous situations exist, manufacturing workers can become safety-focused. Not only are you better equipped to protect yourself from threats, but you’ll also be more adept at taking action when a colleague may be at risk.
While the exact nature of the hazards can vary from one manufacturing company to the next, some are fairly common. Here’s a look at the five most dangerous safety hazards in the manufacturing industry and what you can do to stay safe.
1. Loose Material and Other Walkway Hazards
Loose material and walkway hazards abnormal in a manufacturing environment. Discarded pieces that occur as part of the production process, dust that comes off as items are cut, or power cords and boxes in high traffic areas can all introduce risk into the workplace.
When debris, dust, or items end up in walkways, there’s always a chance that an employee will slip, trip, or fall because of them. As an employee, it’s critical to remain vigilant when walking, ensuring you can spot these potential hazards.
Additionally, it’s best to take action when you identify an issue. You could remove the item from the area or mark the hazard and alert the proper manager, ensuring it is correctly addressed before anyone is harmed.
2. Missing or Improperly Used Safety Guards
Many machines have physical safeguards to assist with safety. They usually function as barriers, ensuring people can’t reach into areas that could be dangerous.
When a safety guard is missing or improperly installed, that protection doesn’t exist. If you notice a guard is missing or is incorrectly placed, don’t enter or interact with the area. Instead, follow your safety procedures and inform a manager immediately.
3. Poor Equipment Training
Manufacturing environments have a ton of equipment. From manufacturing machinery to forklifts, each piece introduces risk. When training is subpar, employees may not know how to use the equipment properly. As a result, injuries are more likely.
If you need to use a piece of equipment, request access to proper training. That way, you know how to operate it correctly.
4. Electrical Hazards
Anything from unfastened panels to exposed wiring to incorrectly installed equipment can introduce electrical hazards. In situations like those, the chance of electrocution can rise dramatically.
If you spot a potential issue, follow your safety procedures, and inform management. Never try to fix the problem yourself if you aren’t a trained electrician, or it doesn’t fall into your purview.
5. Failure to Follow Lockout/TagoutProcedures
Lockout/tagout procedures ensure that equipment isn’t turned on when it’s known to have a malfunction or is being repaired. Failing to lockout machines or disregarding the lockout and starting the machine anyway can both be incredibly dangerous.
Make sure you understand your company’s lockout/tagout procedures and that you follow them to the letter. That way, there isn’t an accidental startup that could put you or someone else at risk.
Call Bayside Today to Learn More
If you’d like to learn more about how you can stay safe while working in a manufacturing environment, the team at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today.