Manufacturing Manufacturing Workforce

Stay Safe: Common OSHA Triggers for Manufacturers

The sign at the entrance of the manufacturing plant says, “Accident Free for 300 Days”. The entire company takes great pride in this fact. Operating for almost one year without any accidents is a testament to the great care dedicated to employee safety and training. When accidents happen they are not just a number on a sign or a report to be completed for a governmental agency. Accidents can be serious life changing or life threatening events that need to be avoided at all costs.

The main priority in the factory or on the shop floor is to ensure employee health, safety and wellbeing! Eliminating or decreasing the number of accidents is the goal of any safety program. Having a program that ensures employee safety provides many benefits. A few of these are:

  1. Saving money on insurance policies. Typically companies with more accidents pay a higher premium because they pose a higher risk.

  2. Maintaining certifications and credentials that rely on operational safety compliance.

  3. Decreasing legal liability by reducing exposure to potential lawsuits.

  4. Improving operations by lowering costs and increasing efficiency.

No one ever wakes up in the morning and thinks, “maybe I should have an accident today.” Incidents and accidents are unplanned unforeseen events that can halt production for a few moments or destroy the entire plant. They can cause a major disruption to the operation of the business. Production stops immediately when an accident occurs. Injured employees need to be assessed, triaged and then treated appropriately. A comprehensive investigation needs to take place immediately following the accident. An incomplete or inaccurate investigation can be costly to the company if litigation ensues. After these steps are carried out, the cleanup begins. This could mean anything from picking up a few items to repairing equipment to rebuilding the plant.

Manufacturing is different from other industries because in many cases machinery is being operated exposing employees to greater potential for injury. Common OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations for the manufacturing industries include:

  • Machinery and machine guarding

  • Personal protective equipment

  • Electrical equipment and electrical hazard prevention

  • Control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tag Out)

  • Specifications for accident prevention

Following these tips can help reduce the on the job injuries. Have regular safety meetings to review safety procedures and accident prevention. Create a sense of ownership with all employees. Keep all areas clean and clutter free to reduce hazardous conditions. Hire management professionals that are committed to safety. Reward good behavior to reinforce safe practices. Analyze previous accidents to see how they can be prevented in the future.

Common sense should prevail when considering safety on the job. Employees should not wear loose clothing or wear dangling jewelry when working with machinery. All tools and equipment must be properly stored and put away when not in use. Broken tools or machinery must be reported immediately and then fixed or taken out of service. Instruction manuals and Material Safety Data Sheets must be accessible to employees. Employees that report for work under-the-influence of alcohol or drugs should be subject to disciplinary action or termination.

Safety is everyone’s business. The combination of safety training, education and awareness will help everyone stay safe. Contact us to learn about the services we provide or to discuss your most important business issues. Schedule a free evaluation by calling us at (973) 998-9801.

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