Promoting Safety in the Manufacturing Industry

car-doors-406883_960_720An estimated 3 million U.S. workers are injured on the job every year, according to data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While construction remains the most hazardous industry for workers, manufacturing isn’t far behind. From overexertion and pulled muscles to lacerations, burns and exposure to toxic gases and substances, there are dozens of ways in which a manufacturing worker can sustain injury. So, what can employers do to create a safer working environment while reducing the number of worker injuries?

Provide Workers with Personal Protection Equipment

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers provide their workers with the necessary personal protection equipment (PPE). In the manufacturing industry, for instance, this may include impact-resistant eyewear, steel-toe boots, and gloves. If the equipment is used to protect against injury, then it’s the employer’s duty to provide it to workers.

Inspect Machinery on a Regular Basis

Just because a particular machine is “working” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to operate. When heavy machinery goes for long periods of time without an inspection, there’s a greater risk of a malfunction and/or error occurring, which of course can place workers at risk for injury. Employers should have their machinery and equipment inspected on a regular basis, performing maintenance when necessary.

Injury Reporting

Of course, workers should be encouraged to report injuries and related incidents in a timely manner. Proper reporting is essential to creating a safe working environment, as it allows employers to implement the necessary changes to protect against injury.

Encourage Safe Lifting Practices

The golden rule of lifting heavy objects and boxes is to lift with your legs and not your back. Unfortunately, many workers continue to lift by bending over, placing additional strain and stress on their backs. Employers should encourage safe lifting practices by teaching the proper way to lift.

Keep Pathways Clear and Free of Obstruction

Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common types of occupational injuries. Employers in the manufacturing industry can help protect against such incidents, however, by keeping pathways clear and free of obstruction. And if an employee or someone else spills liquid on a pathway, clean it in a timely manner. The longer the liquid is allowed to sit, the greater the risk for injury.

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