Did you know that manufacturing injuries make up 20% of private industry injuries? With heavy machinery, moving parts and quick turnarounds, these jobsites can be dangerous places to work…especially if the proper precautions aren’t taken. As an entrepreneur or employee in manufacturing, it is important to keep the safety of the team a high priority. Learn the six most common manufacturing injuries, ways to avoid them and how to create a healthier workplace.
- Machine or contact related damage. Serious injuries such as crushing, loss of limbs or even death can occur when the machines malfunction or someone is distracted. To prevent these types of injuries from occurring, implement safety protocols. Ensure your staff are properly trained upon hire and perform regular updates. Have a safety expert visit the workplace to assess hazards and prevent injuries. Implement safety measures, such as lockout, tagout, to protect workers from hazardous energy from machinery.
- Slip or fall injuries. Wet or slippery floors can be dangerous, especially in a factory environment with sharp and heavy objects around. Train the team to keep your spaces clean. If a spill occurs or debris is in the way, clearly mark these hazards while they wait to be cleared. Also, be sure to consistently keep walkways clear of debris throughout the day and at the end of work.
- Overexertion injuries. Long hours can lead to overexertion and dehydration in the workplace, and these can lead to mistakes at work. Enforce breaks throughout the working day to avoid overloading the body. Make it clear that days off are important and encouraged so your staff can rest and recharge when needed.
- Vehicle damage. There are always vehicles moving around manufacturing facilities, so it is important to promote safety when handling or working near them. Collisions and falling objects are more common with machinery such as forklifts. Ensure that only trained workers use them and implement safe boundaries for employees working near them. Communication is also key to avoiding vehicle damage, so be clear about what to do and speak up if you see a potential hazard about to occur.
- Chemical damage. With the potential for asthma, loss of senses, or even in rare cases cancer, chemical safety procedures must be in place and enforced to protect your staff and workplace. Make sure your team is clear about how to handle hazardous chemicals and what to do in an emergency. Pay close attention to the warning labels on each chemical used. Maintain a clean area with proper storage and ventilation for chemicals. And always have personal protective equipment available for personnel who come into contact with these chemicals.
- Repetitive strain injuries. These workplace injuries can occur from doing the same job repeatedly throughout the day. Muscle strain and soft tissue deterioration are just some of the consequences of repetitive movements at work. If possible, implement a rotation program where your staff changes jobs throughout the day. This can help reduce repetitive stress injuries while allowing your team to be more diverse across the company. Promote workplace wellness programs or incentives to keep your team active and their bodies healthy.
Regular assessments can be very effective in keeping your manufacturing facility safe and running. It’s important to avoid cutting corners too – although it may seem boring, it can go a long way for safety. Now that you know the most common manufacturing damages, get the right manufacturer’s insurance coverage. A local, independent agent can help you create the right protection for your business.