It doesn’t matter what you’re manufacturing. If you want to keep your staff safe, your production line in full flow, and your workplace free from hazards, the same principles will apply. At LWS Training Services, we have seen it all first-hand, so we understand exactly what can happen in a variety of different manufacturing settings. With experience in departments such as dispatch, as well as heavy manufacturing units, we are only surprised that we have not seen more injuries. This month, we have pulled together a guide to help you check your own work environment:
Many businesses run the same risks when they manufacture any type of product or raw material. Ask yourself the following questions:
How do you store your materials?
- Poor storage of materials can lead to accidents. If you have a corner of your factory bursting at the seams with various materials, keep it tidy to avoid any slips, trips and falls. If you run out of space to store things and have parts scattered around everywhere, you are much more likely to have a health and safety incident. We’ve even known situations where staff have had to climb over materials to get to the items they need! Not only does this pose a major health and safety risk, but it can have a dramatic effect on production too. Hazardous materials need to be labelled clearly and stored appropriately.
How hot does your factory get in summer months?
- Monitor the temperature on the factory floor. If it’s too hot inside during the summer months, this could lead to fainting or heatstroke, or even worse if you have a staff member suffering from a chronic condition. The HSE provides guidance on temperatures inside the workplace – read the HSE guidance on this. Always keep your eye on this.
Overloading of work job trolleys
- If a trolley loses control due to a heavy load, this could cause an accident on the factory floor, affecting one or more members of staff. The same applies to pallet trucks, as we explore in more detail below. Always abide by the weight limit of any truck or trolley.
Good practice for procedures
- Having a strong procedure in place helps everyone working within your business. Its sets boundaries for staff and helps to avoid potential accidents – therefore, we advise the following:
- Make sure staff are organised; ensuring deadlines and delivery dates are achievable. Always ensure working space is kept clean and tidy after each process, and walkways and access points to storage racking are kept clear. This includes encouraging staff to put items that are not required back in the right location.
Prepare for mechanical or manual handling
- Poor mechanical or manual handling can lead to a pallet truck that is far too heavy for one person to push or pull, especially if the truck needs to go up or down a slope. When moving a set of boxes from one location to another, this can result in a person having to twist from the waist. Even if the new location is at the same level as the person, this can cause problems for the person’s back or other places in the body. Make sure your staff are trained correctly to handle all of your equipment.
Pick components safely
- When there is not enough space between racking to pick components safely, you run the risk of people being injured. Usual causes are due to dropping trays or sub-assemblies because they are too heavy and on the wrong shelving level. Create a process relevant to your business that enables your employees to safely pick components, and you should avoid these potential risks.
What can happen?
Think of a children’s play area in a pub in relation to your factory. Without the right procedures, processes, and suitable training, you run the risk of chaos. Chaos leads to accidents. Accidents can lead to injuries, fines and prosecution, or even death.
At LWS Training services, we have seen it all, which included seeing a delivery driver running over an employee, who was on crutches at the time and received damage to his good leg! If you’re not sure how safe your manufacturing business really is, then it might be time to book a course.
For more information on Health & Safety training for manufacturing settings, please call 07974 40798 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org