Manufacturing Plant Safety: Ten Strategies to Achieve it
One of the most critical challenges that companies face is to guarantee the safety and health of their workers. The imperative of achieving manufacturing plant safety is now greater than ever. Creating and consolidating a safety culture and reaching the zero accident level must be one of the priorities of manufacturing plant leadership.
Companies with clear manuals, signage and pertinent information, and detailed safety rules, continue to report accidents. Why is this happening? A helmet is useless if it is not used, and a rule is useless if it is not followed. Manufacturing plant safety is in the hands of each one of your workers. Having a pervasive culture of safety ingrained within your company is a must.
Zero Accidents is one of the most popular and effective strategies to achieve this goal. It is a living process that identifies and resolves risk factors in the workplace context. Every day it gains greater popularity as it focuses its efforts and premises on the human element in manufacturing plant safety.
What is the indicator of Zero accidents in the plant?
Human Resources departments dedicate significant efforts to identifying, minimizing, and eliminating risks. Unfortunately, the vast majority of accidents occur due to unsafe actions; they could have been avoided. The human factor plays a crucial role.
Companies around the world place signs at the entrance of their facilities informing how many days have passed without accidents or incidents. It is more complex than a fact for which to feel proud or ashamed.
That number means nothing if it is not part of accident prevention and occupational health strategies. That a company reports zero accidents in two hundred days does not make it safer than a plant with a lower record. Each plant faces different challenges and requires tailored measures and strategies.
Benefits of having zero accidents and enhanced manufacturing plant safety
A secure plant is a productive and motivated plant. People work better in companies that ensure their safety. Having adequate training, equipment in good condition, and emergency protocols in place improve your company’s work environment and competitiveness.
Achieving zero accidents
The following data was provided by the International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding job security and manufacturing plant safety worldwide: The following are some noteworthy statistical examples:
+ 374 million non-fatal injuries per year
+ 2.78 million annual deaths
Eighty-eight percent of accidents occur due to unsafe acts of people
Ten percent are due to performing dangerous tasks
Identifying causes and classifying the origin of diverse types of incidents helps in the design of prevention strategies. One of the most popular classifications due to its complexity is that of causes, factors, and results:
Immediate causes of accidents
- Unsafe acts
- The worker acted imprudently or carelessly
- The employee did not use the appropriate equipment
- Individuals operated the equipment irresponsibly
- The worker disobeyed a security measure
- The task is risky
- The worker does not have security equipment
- The equipment that is being used is not in good condition.
- Unsafe performance
- The worker did not receive timely training
- Employees do not have access to safety manuals
- There is no emergency plan for manufacturing plant safety
Worker skills and mental health
- There is no awareness of the risk
- There is no commitment to safety on the part of the employee
The physical condition of the worker
- Extreme fatigue
- Visually impaired
- Little physical strength or stability
- Production delay
- Low quality
- Wasted resources
- Damaged property
- Environmental damage
- Minor injury
- Major injury
The classification of both causes and types of accidents is crucial. Many people immediately imagine fatal consequences when talking about a lack of manufacturing plant safety. However, a damaged machine and mishandled toxic waste also represent an accident and also have consequences.
Below, we present ten strategies you should consider when designing the most appropriate system to maximize manufacturing plant safety.
- Procedures and quality standards based on the specific needs of your plant
Each plant is different and, therefore, requires a strategy that adapts to its unique needs and conditions. Consequently, it is of primary importance to analyze tasks that your employees perform, examine which ones involve more risk and identify solutions to problems that have not yet occurred.
Your strategy may include one or more of the following resources:
- General safety instruction materials
- Manuals for equipment and machinery
- Videos on topics related to workplace precautions
All of them must meet specific quality standards. Therefore, it is of critical importance to stay current with regulations and requirements.
- Courses for manufacturing plant safety
The Human Resources department is in charge of designing all security plans. However, they must be based on international rules and standards. Therefore, you must stay up to date on relevant information.
In this same matter, all your employees must receive timely training appropriate to their area and tasks. It is essential that they fully understand the risks involved in their position. For example, if a worker’s job requires special equipment, he or she must know how to use it.
All people who enter your facilities must receive timely information on protocols, processes, and safety rules. Staff must report the individual without exception when a person’s actions represent a risk for them or the plant.
- Maintenance of equipment and machinery
It is important to manage high-quality standards in caring for machinery and protective equipment. Therefore, it is necessary to assign one or more people to review the conditions of your facilities, machinery, and protective gear.
- Accident classification, reporting, analysis.
Broken glass is different from slipping on a wet floor, losing a finger, or losing a life. Check the classification of accidents by the ILO. It will greatly help to analyze, monitor, and design new prevention strategies.
Plant personnel must obey all signs that warn about risk areas, evacuation routes, points of restricted access, and speed limits. There are colors, figures, and even fonts defined for certain types of signs. It is vital that you consult them in the different safety manuals.
- Infographics and reports
Indeed, you have seen them on more than one occasion. These signs track the time elapsed and days without accidents. Many companies publish manufacturing plant safety reports by areas, types of accidents, and types of injuries suffered.
- Updated insurance
In addition to providing support to your workers, insurance is a legal requirement for your plant. Workers have been shown to perform more confidently when they know they have life insurance covering them.
- Audits and inspections
Make sure your employees are following safety regulations. Perform periodic inspections to verify the correct use of safety equipment. Workers must execute protocols, procedures, and routes correctly.
- Clear incentives and consequences
Implement an incentive or reward program for safe performance by workers. Similarly, be very clear about the consequences of personnel breaking safety rules. It’s about motivating, not scaring.
- Apps and digital tools
Take advantage of all the tools you have at your fingertips. Different applications and programs help you with this complex and essential mission. Using them lets you have total control of your operations in real-time and reduce costs and industrial accidents. In addition, they will help you to be able to guarantee the safety of your plant.
- Companies can prevent industrial accidents.
- It is crucial to design a plan tailored to your plant’s specific needs.
- Technology has become the most critical ally, given the task of strengthening manufacturing plant safety
- The Zero Accident goal is possible.
If you are seeking a manufacturing safety-conscious manufacturing partner, contact the professionals at Prince Manufacturing.