Search Google for “manufacturing safety tips” and you will find over 25 million results. This one data point reveals the importance of manufacturing safety. Another data point is that 353 manufacturing workers died from injuries in 2015. That is a rate of 2.3 deaths per 100,000 full time workers. Without any doubt, this topic is important to your employees and critical for any business, including MCR Safety.
For more than 40 years, we have been a proven leader in the safety industry for gloves, glasses, and garments. Simply put, “We protect people.” You can imagine then that we take this subject seriously within our own domestic and international operations, both embracing and cultivating an overall safety culture. Some examples include:
- We regularly conduct safety-training classes, with many employees holding an OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 certification card.
- We have invited law enforcement to visit and advise all employees of the proper procedures in the event of workplace violence.
- We conduct routine drills preparing for a potential emergency, ensuring everyone knows the correct and safe operational procedures.
- From a manufacturing perspective, we meticulously maintain equipment by installing safety guards wherever hazards exist. Most recently, we added one to a grommet machine found at our global distribution center, as there was an immediate hazard for those operating it.
With the above background, we have some insight into this topic. Here are our tips specific to manufacturing.
Your workers need the best tools and equipment for performing their required job. Once the equipment is in place, there becomes a need for ongoing training focused on safe and correct operational procedures. This should include both on-the-job training and classroom training, ideally with small classes emphasizing a high degree of participation.
The workplace itself should be ergonomically arranged, acknowledging the potential for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)—carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, rotator cuff injuries, muscle strains, and low back injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2013 MSD cases accounted for a third of all worker injuries and illness cases.
All this, of course, needs to be accompanied with readily available instruction manuals for every application. There should be plenty of illustrations within these manuals, along with being detailed and task-based. For rapid reference within the manual, safety mechanisms enable quick and easily identifiable processes/procedures.
Excellent equipment, correct operational procedures established, and ongoing training are key parts of any manufacturer’s safety program. Even with all these in place, an employee can always use some everyday practical tips. Here is some advice and overall tips:
- Remain Alert. Watch for hazards or developing situations that could lead to hazards.
- Proper Tool and Machine Use. It may be tempting to use whatever tool you have in your hand, but using pliers when a wrench is required could easily lead to injury. Take the time to use the right tool and never attempt to bypass safety guards on machines.
- Protect Your Back. This means using the proper posture when lifting, as well as when standing and working on equipment.
- Prevent Falls. Falls from slips occur many times due to slick surfaces. Do all you can to quickly clean up spills and leaks.
- Take Breaks. If you are tired or worn down, a mistake is much more likely to occur. This mistake could lead to injuring yourself or a fellow employee. Take regular breaks and get proper rest when you are away from work.
- Keep Work Areas Clear. Clutter on the floor and on your workbench offers no advantages for completing work tasks and assignments. Even more so, it presents a serious hazard. Keep your work area clean by taking the time to clean up after each task.
- Report Unsafe Conditions. If you encounter unsafe conditions, it is up to you to report these conditions to your supervisor. Do not wait until an accident occurs. If you see something, say something!
- Wear Correct Safety Equipment. As manufacturers of PPE, we are firm believers in wearing the correct gloves, glasses, and garments. Make sure you are wearing the appropriate gear for the application performed.
All of the above focuses on accident prevention. On top of this, never forget the critical need to report all accidents. You need a way of tracing injuries back to the source, ensuring you address the hazard’s root problem.
Make sure you gather all the key details around any incident. This includes: who was involved, what happened, when it happened, where, and most importantly why. On that last item, try asking “why” several times to surface the underlying problem. Once discovered, significant future improvements are possible.
Safety is Critical to Your Workplace and Your Employees
Above are just a few tips. The entire topic of safety in the workplace is quite involved and ever so important. Of course, MCR Safety can help when comes to personal protective equipment including gloves, glasses, and garments.
We have dedicated safety professionals committed to demonstrate products, provide training, and review safety gear needs.
For more information about our products browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at 800-955-6887.