Working in a factory, warehouse, or any other type of industrial manufacturing setting is obviously much different than an office job. And while these challenging but exciting positions are extremely rewarding, there are potential hazards almost everywhere while on the job.
That means it’s your job to take all of the extra precautions and time to ensure that you and your coworkers remain safe every day. So strap in, tighten your laces, double-check that the forklift is parked, and let’s take a trip through Factory Safety 101!
Use all equipment properly, and wear the required safety attire
When working in factories or any manufacturing setting, you’re almost guaranteed to have to use some type of machinery, tools, or other equipment. These machines are usually a lot stronger and more powerful than we are, so make sure that you actually take the time to learn how to use it properly.
Hint hint: As lame as it is, take the time to read the instruction manual thoroughly. Don’t just assume that the way your coworker does it is correct.
And don’t forget about the required equipment to keep you safe either. Whether this is a pair of safety goggles, a mandatory hard hat, or your own pair of steel-toed boots, make sure that you have all of your PPE (personal protective equipment) on and take care of it as well. Damaged safety equipment is as effective as a leaky roof during a thunderstorm. Neither gets the job done, so take care of your equipment!
Keep work areas and emergency exits clear
Emergencies can arise at any time and are typically never expected. No one checks their daily calendar after arriving at work and sees: “Large factory fire, 2 p.m. today.” Therefore, it’s your job to ensure that all work areas and emergency exits are clear at all times during the day.
A cluttered work area can mean that you don’t have the space to do your job or use large machinery and tools. So make sure that everything is put on its proper shelf as soon as possible, and make sure that it’s secure up there. You’d hate to be walking next to a shelf and get crushed by a stocked dishwasher plummeting toward the earth. Besides, heavier objects should be kept on lower shelves anyway.
And never leave large objects or machines in front of emergency exits. Remember, you have that large fire scheduled for today at 2.
Now, let’s prevent that fire!
After you see a fire on your calendar, you decide that you’re just not feeling like running from the building today, so let’s prevent it from happening. To eliminate fire hazards, you need to use caution with all combustible materials in your workplace. If you are using these materials, only keep the amount that you need for the task at hand. When you aren’t using these materials, store them in assigned storage spaces away from all possible points of ignition
If you’ve worked in a factory long enough, you know that dust is everywhere. All it takes is a single spark to turn this dust into a fire-breathing monster, so use industrial vacuums to frequently clean areas that accumulate dust. Your lungs will thank you, too!
Lift correctly, take breaks, and if you see something…say something
No one wants a back injury, so keep your back straight when picking up a heavy item. No twisting, turning or stooping while lifting. And you can always make life easier on yourself by using a machine or forklift to do the work for you.
When you feel tired, take a short break. If you were alert earlier, you would have noticed that dishwasher hurtling down toward you at light speed. Most workplace injuries occur because the employee is too tired to adequately get the job done in a safe manner.
And lastly, if you see an unsafe condition anywhere that you are unable to clear safely, inform your supervisor. They’re legally obligated to keep you and your coworkers safe, so they’ll take care of it!
Looking for more info on how to protect yourself on the job? Check us out at www.safgard.com to learn more!