Manufacturing safety is essential to preventing or lessening the risk of workplace injury, illness and death. While the expanse of general industry safety regulations and recommendations can seem overwhelming to many manufacturers, employers must be proactive about employee safety.
Manufacturers putting their employees' safety at risk
January was a busy month for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials citing employers over workplace health and safety violations. In one investigation, OSHA inspectors identified 30 safety and health violations at an Oklahoma truck bed manufacturing facility. Federal officials fined the company $535,000 for exposing its workers to various safety risks, including improperly stored compressed gas tanks and poorly labeled chemicals.
On Jan. 18, 2017, OSHA regulators issued one willful, one repeated, one other-than-serious violation and two serious violations to a Wisconsin-based manufacturer. After two workers suffered severe injuries within a 10 day period in 2016, inspectors fined the manufacturer over $219,000 for various safety hazards, with respect to ineffective machine safety guards.
"Employers should use safety management software to track and record worker injuries and illnesses."
"The fact that two workers suffered debilitating injuries is tragic," said Robert Bonack, OSHA's area director in Appleton. "The reality is that the company failed to re-evaluate its machine safety procedures and continued to expose other workers to the same hazards even after these injuries."
Employers need to take action for employee safety
As large as the manufacturing industry is, there are numerous hazards employers must be on the look out for to keep their employees safe. From harsh chemical exposure to the risk of slip, trips and falls, manufacturers must prepare and address a wide array of safety issues. Just a few of the top safety concerns employers should pay attention to include:
- Lack of employee training.
- Poorly maintained or guarded heavy machinery.
- Improper use of personal protection equipment.
- Unsafe work environment.
While it's essential for manufactures to recognize certain safety hazard facing their workers, it's more important for them to take action to protect them. If certain measures are taken and employers follow certain OSHA procedures, there does not need to be a serious cause for concern among both manufacturers and employees.
One of the first steps manufacturers can take toward employee safety to ensure that all new workers are comprehensively trained on their job responsibilities and various safety techniques. They should know what PPE to wear, how to maintain or service heavy machinery, proper lock/out tagout procedures and any other need-to-know workplace safety information.
Next, employers should use safety management software to track and record worker injuries and illnesses. Not only will this keep manufacturers in compliance with OSHA standards, but it will create a culture of safety throughout the organization. Employee safety should be a top priority for companies in the manufacturing industry and environmental, health and safety management software allows them to achieve this goal.
To learn more about how to record, track, and prevent workplace hazards, contact IndustrySafe today!