In any manufacturing plant, safety is of utmost importance. Not only does it make for a better work environment but safety is also vital to employee happiness and can enhance productivity. What do manufacturing leaders establishing or revamping safety procedures need to focus on? These three tips can help:
- Require initial and ongoing training.
When new employees join your manufacturing team, it’s important to include them in a company orientation — but don’t forget about training them in safety basics. Every manufacturing plant is different, so each individual needs training specific to his or her work environment. This is a great time to review safety basics from first aid to Lockout-Tagout procedures. But training doesn’t stop there: Even if you don’t introduce new machinery or materials, retraining can help employees keep safety top of mind. And when you do bring a new element to the production floor, training is a must.
- Ensure employees have and use the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).
PPE is dependent on the equipment and potentially hazardous materials you use in your facility, and can include everything from steel-toe boots and protective eyewear to hazmat suits and respirators. Without the proper protections, employees risk their health and safety. When you train employees on what they need, why they need the equipment, and how to use it properly, you can help them reduce risks to themselves and others on the plant floor.
- Enforce safety guidelines.
When setting your plant’s safety guidelines, include information on how employees can prevent slips, trips, and falls; fires; objects from falling; and more. From how to handle materials to where smoking is allowed, make your safety rules as comprehensive as possible. Don’t forget that you can — and should — continually update these guidelines when bringing in new machinery and materials or in the case of an accident. Although your safety regulations will hopefully prevent unfortunate circumstances, it’s important to learn from any mistakes and pass that knowledge on to employees so they don’t happen again.
Of course, plant inspections and machine maintenance are also imperative. You can train employees on safety, ensure they wear their PPE, and enforce your safety rules, but without overall plant safety, your efforts could be for naught. You may even consider partnering with a machine repair provider to ensure your equipment is well-maintained and working as efficiently as possible to avoid any personnel-related accidents or injuries. And, of course, be sure to comply with all industry standards specific to your unique manufacturing processes.