Factories can be filled with dangers, from heavy machinery to the smallest spills and tripping hazards. With a few pre-emptive precautions and an alert mind, workers can minimise workplace hazards and enjoy a safe work environment. Here are a few simple and effective precautions you can take to increase your safety while working in a factory.
Inspect the Work Area
Know the location of the kill switch for any partially or fully automated machinery. Examine the floor and other surfaces for debris that could trip you or a co-worker, or could get stuck between moving parts of a machine. Ensure a clear line of sight between workstations whenever possible and avoid blocking access to and from all workstations. Know the location of emergency exits and first aid kits, and check them periodically to ensure that they are functional. Also look for objects that are stacked unsafely and pose a risk of falling or crushing.
Inspect Personal Safety Equipment
When working with moving machinery, avoid wearing loose sleeves and tuck in long shirts to avoid getting them caught in the machines. Wear long hair in a ponytail or braid, or tuck it under the collar of a shirt to keep it safe from entanglement. When necessary, wear eye, ear and head protection at all times while working. If wearing gloves, avoid any that are so thick they limit finger movement and dexterity. Do not become distracted or compromise your awareness by using iPods or other personal entertainment devices while working.
Inspect the Machinery
Make a thorough inspection of all machinery before using it, including forklifts, machining equipment, presses and assembly equipment. Look for any loose or worn parts that could come off and pose a danger during operation. Check the equipment's power supply, hydraulic fluid and lubricant levels to be sure they are all in optimal operating range.
Communicate With Others
Be attentive to the needs and activities of others working around you. Pay attention to the tasks and routines being performed, noting the paths that both people and vehicles frequently use when moving through the factory. If a co-worker seems to need aid or attention, stop what you are doing and ensure that their needs are seen to. If you are injured or compromised while working, make sure that others know you need assistance.