Nearly every job has safety concerns, and they vary by industry. Some jobs have major risks that require safeguarding. When you are dealing with transformers, heavy equipment, heat, line work or other manufacturing plant jobs, safety needs to be on everyone’s mind. Considerations should include everything from personal protective equipment to package warnings to lock-out tag-out procedures and beyond. Everyone at work should be made aware of workplace safety awareness tips.
Plant Safety Tips
Every shop has its own specific guidelines. These should be checked and rechecked at least annually. Depending on your specific industry, you may need to have education courses every six months in things like blood-borne pathogens.
Basic plant safety tips should cover the following:
- Easy access to eye-wash station.
- Easy access to and disposal of personal protective equipment.
- Contact numbers for emergencies.
- Reference guide for warning signs.
- Lock-out tag-out kits.
General Manufacturing Wardrobe Guidelines
Manufacturing jobs can be dangerous since there is a risk of chemicals getting into your eyes or on your skin. In addition, heavy material jobs have dangerous systems to operate. Many other jobs require you to be able to climb and crawl. To avoid being injured on the job, you should do the following:
- Wear at least close-toed but ideally steel-toed shoes.
- Wear jeans or carpenter’s pants.
- Do not wear tool belts constantly or overweight them.
- Wear appropriately protective shirts.
- Depending on your job, do not wear contact lenses.
- Always wear safety glasses when directed.
How to Report Unsafe Conditions
Your specific organization will have its own set of rules regarding reporting. Some universal staff includes the safety officer, who will need to be looped in on the reporting of every incident or injury. Be prepared to walk through what happened so it can be avoided in the future.
For example, suppose a technician accidentally got a bad shock because he turned on equipment that was locked-out tagged-out. He had mostly superficial burns and did not need to be hospitalized. The first thing you should do is contact the safety officer on duty. If you are ever confused, ask how to proceed. Obtain proper medical care for the employee first.
Then, find out who was the last person working on the system that caused the injury. For instance, say that a second technician didn’t button things up properly when she took a lunch break. The shift manager might note that the second technician is overworked, which might have caused the problem. You can then proceed in figuring out how to deal with the employees to avoid a similar situation in the future.
How to Create Safety Checklists
The best way to go about creating a checklist for yourself is to walk around your shop or worksite and pay careful attention to what you see. Checklists should be used each morning and night or at the opening and closing of each shift. A manager should be responsible for creating these lists and checking in with the employee who does the daily rounds. Ideally, more than one person should oversee this process to create redundancies for safety.
In addition, be sure to ask your staff to look at the checklists. They are very familiar with their work processes and will likely be the first to notice problems too. Their insight is valuable in making safety checklists.
What Is OSHA?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is a government agency that oversees workplace safety. They regularly visit hospitals, for example, to audit how patients are handled and to see if hospital staff is obeying all of the rules and regulations for patient health and care.
If you observe a problem in the workplace, you can report it to OSHA. This may be done anonymously. If a problem is reported, they will visit your workplace and investigate.
Types of Workplace Hazards
There are typically six main types of hazards that can be found in the workplace. These include the following:
- Physical: Cluttered stairs or walkways, slippery floors, sharp corners on equipment and anything else that could cause physical damage or harm.
- Psychological: Customer-facing roles, harassment, threats, overworked employees with too high a workload or even the effects of shift work.
- Ergonomic: Uncomfortable chairs or work stations, a workflow that doesn’t make logical sense, repetitive movements.
- Biological: Anything that could infect an employee, such as catching the flu, getting an insect bite or mold.
- Chemical: Dust, fumes, vapors and chemicals, sometimes in liquid form.
- Radiation: Ultraviolet, laser light and imaging-style X-rays all expose an employee to danger.
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