If your business involves manufacturing, then you’ll already know that it’s a complicated business to be in. You need to make sure that everything is working efficiently, that costs are kept to a minimum, and that you’re providing a safe environment.
Of all your priorities, it’s this last one that is the most important. You’ve got an obligation to your business and workers to ensure that everyone is kept safe while they’re on your premises. So the question is: is the environment as safe as it could be?
Below, we take a look at a few ways you can ensure that the safety of your manufacturing process is watertight.
1] Compliance: Just the Starting Point
There are certain things that you’re legally obliged to do if you run a manufacturing process. But here’s a problem: because these are the things you must do, some owners think that they’re the ONLY things you have to do.
This, of course, is not the case. They’re a starting point for your safety procedures, not the end game! You know your manufacturing process better than anyone, so it’s about tailoring your safety to suit your needs, building on what you’re legally required to do.
2] The Correct Training
It’s your staff who are going to be your first defence when it comes to your workplace safety, but it’s up to you to ensure that they have everything they need to maintain a safe environment.
This will involve having all the right safety equipment to hand, and, most important of all, making sure that they’ve received the correct training.
What looks like an obvious safety point to you may not be obvious to someone else. If you’ve taken the time to ensure they know the right way to act and respond to accidents, then you’ll be greatly reducing the chance of something going seriously wrong.
3] How’s the Floor?
You’re going to have a lot of expensive, bulky, potentially dangerous equipment in your factory. But actually, they might not be the biggest cause of accidents – that dubious honour may belong to your floor. T
here are many ways your floor can compromise your workers safety – they can be slippy, they can be untidy, they can all-around be difficult to navigate.
As a starting point, make sure you’re taking the time to ensure that your floor is not slippy. This can happen over time, so it’s something that you’ll want to review every so often, too.
4] Keeping Things Tidy
A chaotic environment breeds a chaotic mind, and a chaotic mind is one that’s prone to making mistakes. And mistakes, in a factory environment, are the last thing that you want.
Of course, the benefits of keeping things tidy stretch far beyond safety – it increases productivity, makes your factory a nicer place to work, and sets the standards for the rest of your operations.
But safety is the main point. The less mess that’s around, the less chance there is of something going wrong. It’s as simple as that!
5] Hidden Dangers
Not all of the dangers in your manufacturing process will be instantly apparent. Take your machinery. You might know that they’re able to cause damage in obvious ways – but they may also cause harm, sometimes even more serious harm, in less obvious ways.
If they’re rusty, then a worker who cuts himself on your machinery won’t just need a bandage – they’ll need urgent medical attention. Fortunately, you can get rid of it. Coating removal applications involve the removal of rust from metal.
If you see something that looks potentially hazardous, then get it removed – you’ll very quickly have improved the safety of your workplace.
6] Where Possible, Automate
It’s important that you invest in the best staff for your operations, and automation should not replace your workers, but it’s good to introduce it on a small scale to improve safety.
If you have a dangerous task that involves much safety equipment and so on, then why not remove the threat to your employee altogether by automating the process?
It’ll reduce the need for one of your workers to be in situations that could go wrong if there was one lapse in concentration. A machine will not have a lapse of concentration!
7] Improving Your Operations
Sometimes, you’ll be able to tackle your safety threats in a more indirect way. If you improve every aspect of your manufacturing operations, then you’ll be improving your site safety.
Why? Well, let’s think about this. Modern factories and the like are safe because they naturally incorporate safety features.
By upgrading and improving the various aspects of your operations, you’ll naturally reap the benefits of the improved safety features. And of course, there’ll be plenty of other benefits, too – such as increased efficiency and output.
8] Listen To Your Employees
You can take a look at your site’s safety from a bird’s eye view, but you’ll miss the stuff that you need to see up close if you do this. To improve your safety, you need to incorporate the advice of people who see your operations every day, up close – that means your workers.
So it’s reasonable to ask them the question: how do you think we can improve safety? The might come up with something that surprises you, or which you’ve completely overlooked. And, through the process of asking, you’ll be building a better, closer relationship with your staff, too.
9] Learning from Past Mistakes
If you’re in the manufacturing game for long enough, then you’ll run into an incident. It’s just going to happen. Hopefully, these accidents are small and have no lasting negative damage. But no matter how small they are, there should be a positive outcome from something bad that happens.
Everything setback is an opportunity to learn! When anything happens, take a look at how and why it happened, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again in the future.
It’s not easy, manufacturing. But it is vitally important that you take safety seriously, and always look to improve it – for everyone’s sake.