Workplace safety in your manufacturing plant is job number one for you as a boss and manager. While there will always be some level of risk, you can minimize it to the best of your ability. Each facility is unique in its safety requirements, but there are some general tips and suggestions you should go over and adhere to whenever possible. No matter what kind of products you manufacture, you need to know about the best safety practices in manufacturing.
Best Safety Practices in Manufacturing Workplaces
Here are some of the best safety practices in manufacturing that the workplaces should follow:
Utilize the Latest Technology
One of the most significant contributors to workplace accidents is the use of old, outdated technology. This isn’t to say, older equipment can’t function well, but as equipment ages, it requires more maintenance. If this maintenance is not performed, it suffers a greater potential of breaking down. Furthermore, upgraded technology now generally comes with improved safety features that were simply not available on the other equipment.
Take the automotive industry. Vehicles are safer now than they have ever been in the past, offering features ranging from adaptive braking and blind-spot detection to safety belts and airbags. Some of these features were not around just five years ago, let along half a century. If you’re using outdated technology in your production facility, there’s a good chance vast safety improvements have come about. Additionally, upgrading manufacturing equipment such as your company’s conveyor belt equipment can speed up production and become a more efficient company.
Employee Education is Key
Probably the best way to improve employee safety is to educate them properly. This includes not only how to use their station but proper safety protocol throughout the entire plant. Most accidents can be avoidable. While altogether avoiding accidents is nearly impossible, significantly reducing these accidents is possible. An employee who understands all the safety measures, let alone how to use every aspect of their manufacturing station, will go a long way toward reducing these accidents.
Depending on the kind of manufacturing plant you work in, you may want to bring in health experts to go over specific tasks employees can perform to help immediately improve safety. Through education, you will see a drop in employee accidents.
Keep Your Facility Clean, Always
Want to improve the safety of your plant? Keep it clean. This is one of the best safety practices in manufacturing workplace. Clutter brings about all kinds of possible safety issues within your facility. For example, clutter on the floor increases the potential of slipping and injuring yourself that way. It can corrode machinery and cause the equipment to break down, and employees will not be able to see everything they are doing when their work stations are a mess. You need to do everything you can to keep your production facility clean. Plus, this will help with the overall safety and well-being of your workers, but it will help boost their morale. Numerous studies have shown workers are more productive when they are in a clean, healthy, and safe environment, over one that is cluttered and accident-prone.
Communication, Communication, Communication
Communication within a production facility can sometimes be tricky. Manufacturing plants are not often known for their quietness. This makes communicating with others within the production floor difficult at best and nearly impossible at worst. However, communication is critical for improving workout safety. If goods are being moved manually on the floor, employees at their stations need to know so they can stay out of the way. And if there is a problem on the other side of the floor, all employees need to know what’s going on as it may be necessary for them to react quickly to reduce injuries.
So how can communication be improved? Each facility is a little different, so what works for you might not work for another plant. Installed loudspeakers will not always work. However, employee worn headsets may help with this. These headsets can be designed to block out outside noise while connecting to a PA system. There are numerous options available for you to take advantage of. Look around and find which works best for you and your setup.
Monitor Employee Movement Between Shifts
Accidents are more likely to happen between shifts than during a shift. This is because you have employees leaving a station while other employees are coming in to take over the station. If you don’t allow some buffer time between shifts, you will have too many people on the floor. The increased foot traffic makes it difficult to walk through the production floor. To avoid this, you need to, ideally, make sure most, if not all, of the current shift employees, have left the floor before the following shit employees arrive.
Depending on what you are manufacturing and the amount of debris created, this is an excellent time to clean up around the different work stations to ensure the next shift arrives at a clean plant.
If your production can not come to a stop between shifts, you should have the shift change occur in a stagnated time frame. This way, you can have employee swap outs occur every 15 or 30 minutes (or whatever else works for you). There will always be fine-tuning when it comes to workplace safety in manufacturing, but this will significantly enhance your plant’s safety level.
Improve Workplace Safety With Upgraded Conveyor Belt Technology
One of the best safety practices in manufacturing workplace is to upgrade the technology used during production. If you’re using outdated conveyor belt technology or moving goods and materials around by hand, you have opened yourself and your employees to potential injury. By investing back into your equipment, you’ll improve productivity and production quality, but you’ll significantly reduce the chance of workplace injury. If you want to know more about what possible conveyor belt specialists will work with you on identifying the optimal setup for all of your conveyor belt needs.