In the manufacturing space, safety is incredibly important and should always be top-of-mind. Failing to create a safe working environment can be detrimental to your products and profit, as well as put your workers at risk of injury.
A safe working environment and culture can take time to cultivate and grow. Fortunately, IBT has several top manufacturing safety tips you should consider to ensure your facility is up to standards.
1. Identify the Largest Risk Areas
The largest manufacturing safety hazards and risk areas can be easily identified by the frequency that OSHA records violations in those areas. To avoid violations that could impact your facility’s credibility, follow the guidelines outlined below regarding high-risk areas.
It’s important to protect all equipment in your facility. Certain pieces of equipment should have specific protection mechanisms in place, known as machine guarding. This includes barriers, light curtains, and two-hand trips.
This program is also known as OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy program. Commonly referred to as “Lockout/Tagout”, this program outlines what workers should do to safely depower dangerous machines in the event they need to be shut down. This includes emergencies and times when equipment must be turned off immediately.
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard highlights the correct guidelines for communicating with your employees regarding dangerous chemicals in the workplace. This set of rules covers labeling and tracking chemicals, as well as employee training on chemicals.
OSHA’s respiratory protection standards state that organizations must do as much as possible to minimize worker exposure to hazardous air. Click here to learn more.
Electrical Wiring Methods
Wiring can be a frequent violation of OSHA’s workplace safety standards, as electrical hazards can be common in a manufacturing setting. Wires are flexible and cover wide areas that may be configured incorrectly and can wear down easily. This creates hazards that are difficult to manage.
2. Perform Frequent Safety Audits and Inspections
Audits and inspections are the pillars of any safety program for your manufacturing operations. It’s important to conduct regular manufacturing safety inspections—even if you have never done one, to ensure your facility is up to code.
By evaluating your facilities, employees, and procedures, you can create a safer work environment, leading to better efficiency in both your processes and equipment. This will also ensure you are compliant with state and federal health and safety protocols.
3. Train Your Workforce Effectively
Training your manufacturing workforce is important. Your workers must be capable of performing their jobs, correctly operating machinery, and wearing and maintaining safety supplies and equipment correctly.
Guaranteeing that all workers are trained the first days on the job, and when necessary afterward, is necessary in creating a culture of safety. To be as effective as possible in training your employees, it’s important to:
- Know your audience
- Use real-world examples
- Assess prior knowledge
- Promote behavioral change through repetition
4. Hold Regular Safety Meetings
Along with safety training, your manufacturing operation will need to conduct regular safety meetings. Some operations teams conduct these meetings every three months, while others conduct them every month or even every couple of weeks. If your accident rate is going up, then more frequent safety meetings will need to occur.
Safety meetings should be more formal and typically longer than the usual employee meetings. To run a correct safety meeting:
- Focus on one issue at a time
- Keep it between 20 to 45 minutes
- Involve your employees in creating and running the meetings
- Use different approaches and a mix of different media to make it interesting and address all learning styles
- Document everything to track the results and improve future meetings
5. Cultivate a Safe Culture
Regular safety meetings can help lead to a proper manufacturing safety program that is effective and focuses on your people. Safety culture is about people, for people, and by your people. Your company can cultivate this culture by taking care of your employees and encouraging your employees to take care of themselves and each other.
This means going beyond discussing safety and actually emphasizing worker well-being in the beliefs and values of your workforce. Creating this culture comes from assessing your current culture, determining what needs to be improved, and making safety a habit for every worker in your organization.
Dodge Introduces a New Safety Solution
Dodge’s Inboard Shaft Guard is new and specifically designed for Torque-Arm reducers to protect employees from rotation equipment. The Inboard Shaft Guard is high-quality, impact-resistant, and has a modular design that allows the shaft guard to be used in a wide range of shaft lengths.
The inboard shaft guard increases safety and meets OSHA guidelines. Instead of having to make custom guards that aren’t always cost-effective, you will have a Dodge-manufactured product that is consistent and can be used in any industry, saving you both money and time. The shaft guard ensures safe operations.
Learn more from IBT’s Bearings, Power Transmission, and Electrical Solution Experts
With our years of experience in power transmission, you can rely on IBT for the best solution to your problems. Contact Joe Purcell, the IBT Bearings, PT, and Electrical Director of Business Development at (913) 261-2148 to learn more.