Sean Felix Lim 6m 885 #safety
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Tips To Kee Industrial Workers Safe
The industrial sector has seen some of the most cutting edge technologies for the past decades. From the rise of laser cutting systems to fully automated robots that can work alongside the human workforce, this sector is without a doubt at the forefront of the technological revolution taking place in our world today.
However, despite these advancements, ensuring the safety of the workers seem to be a persisting and complex challenge that still needs to be addressed by industrial companies as they progress towards the new age.
While there exist new machinery that has safety and security built into their fundamental design and function, there are still some areas of the industrial operations that expose workers to grave risks. These areas are often overlooked both by workers and safety managers around the facility, often leading to serious workplace accident and injuries, and ultimately exposing the company to legal risks due to non-compliance with safety standards.
Fortunately, many of these factors can be mitigated with proper training and knowledge. In this post, we will detail some of the actionable and effective ways that safety managers and workers can follow to ensure that their safety and health are not compromised while they’re working inside the facility.
1. Ensure Everyone Is Equipped With Proper PPE
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the workers’ first line of defense against known and unknown safety risks present around the facility. From wet floors to falling debris and everything in between, being equipped with PPE can significantly reduce the chances of these hazards from causing severe and often costly injuries to the workers.
PPE items can include hard hats, protective goggles, reflective vest, safety shoes, and sometimes, respiratory protective equipment. With a plethora of PPE items available, it’s imperative for the facility manager to study the risks distinctive to each role so they can also purchase the right set of PPE for each of their workers.
2. Provide Two-Way Communication to Key On-Site Workers
Workers that work in isolation in some areas of the facility should stay connected with their co-workers and managers not only to provide real-time information about their tasks but also to be able to ask for help during emergencies.
With that regard, companies can consider equipping their workers with two-way radios as these are designed to be reliable over an extended period and provide a clear and direct line of communication with other workers and supervisors.
3. Minimize Worksite Distractions
The most common workplace distractions include fatigue, use of mobile devices, and using earphones/headphones to listen to music. These distractions are a major danger to any industrial facility, and often one of the leading causes why workers get injured while doing their tasks.
As such, workers must rid any use of mobile phones at work and be provided with timely breaks to avoid exhaustion. Companies can also consider providing their workers with a rest area where they can freely use their gadgets or take a short nap during breaks so they can feel invigorated when it’s time to get back at work.
4. Measure Safety Awareness Knowledge Among Workers
Safety managers should take into account the dangers that could occur when their workers are not properly trained to manage work hazards existing within the facility. However, even before such training is conducted, it is critical that the workers are informed during the onboarding process about the dangers associated with their job, as well as gauged about their knowledge about the basic safety practices they are expected to follow.
Ensuring the safety of the workers is an unending endeavor. However, it cannot be started of the workers know nothing about workplace safety. To avoid that, it’s wise to conduct an on-going safety awareness campaign to ensure that everyone is reminded of the safety risks present in the facility and the critical measures to mitigate or avoid them.
5. Increase Safety Through Automation
Automation has become an investment of choice in the industry sector for its cost-cutting benefits increasingly. However, while increased efficiency is the most dominant advantage it brings, the argument of implementing such systems is only increased by the enhanced safety features it offers.
In metal fabrication facilities, for instance, investing in an automated loading and unloading system for laser cutting machines will not only streamline the entire fabrication process, but it will also eliminate the need for the workers to manually transfer heavy metal sheets from the pile to the machine. With such a system, the risk of injury at the operational level dramatically decreases.
Furthermore, removing dangerous tasks from employees will also give them more time to attend other tasks that require brainpower than just brute strength. Even more, it will show that the company views them as an essential asset whose safety and well-being is worth investing for.
These are just the tip of the iceberg in maintaining workplace safety inside industrial facilities. However, following these tips could significantly help the improve the safety of workers, leading to higher morale, better productivity, and reduced legal risks for the company.
About the Author
Sean Felix Lim is an author for ten years now and has contributed a lot of his works with industry analysis research for different modern technologies manufacturing companies. He is also a professor and currently teaching Economics.