In a manufacturing environment, accidents can go from bad to worse in a matter of seconds. Heavy machinery, hazardous chemicals or an unclean workplace can lead to catastrophic events. Illness, personal injury and even loss of life can all be results of workplace accidents, and that level of severity should never be taken lightly. Nocti Business Solutions (NBS) believes in the value of workplace safety because companies must always protect their most important assets, their people.
Below are the most common causes of workplace incidents to occur in a manufacturing environment. By sharing these examples it is not our intent to scare anyone, but we believe that information is always the best step towards prevention.
It’s no secret that large-scale manufacturing calls for massive machinery. Each piece of machinery needs continuous maintenance whether it is a simple sewing machine, stamping press or forklift. Unfortunately, when production is the primary focus of a facility, the maintenance portion can be overlooked. This can lead to malfunctions or impromptu maintenance by untrained individuals which ultimately slows production. Most importantly, those factors all cause irregular conditions in the workplace and where unfamiliarity is frequent, accidents are sure to follow.
Before there can be a product there must always be materials. Materials vary from metals to chemicals and even plastics. Materials are almost always delivered to the trucking dock then moved to the production floor. What causes their mishandling is a sense of urgency which can lead to ignoring safety protocols.
For example, John, a newly hired worker, is rushing to deliver barrels of liquid materials and forgets to grab his safety gloves. Rushing through the factory floor he bumps a machine and the liquid material, containing sulfuric acid, splashes onto his hands. Now, rather than following protocol he leaves his barrels and rushes to the bathroom to wash his hands. What John doesn’t realize is that mixing warm water with sulfuric acid causes a violent reaction sending him to the hospital. All the while, a hazardous barrel is left in the middle of the work floor.
Now, supervisors and team leaders must deal with:
- Production stoppage
- Filing an incident report
- A dangerous hazard
- Replacing a worker
Of course, this is an extreme example but it portrays just how easily incidents happen and more importantly, how following procedures and all safety guidelines help avoid mishandling materials.
Lack of Training
Our third item on the list may be obvious, however, it is indeed worth mentioning. Inadequate training in a manufacturing environment is a recipe for disaster whether it is a lack of skills, quality, safety or team training. Without proper training, employers and supervisors cannot meet federal, health and safety laws, and more importantly, they put themselves and others in danger on the work floor. A lack of training causes employees to have uncertainties about their expected role which frequently leads to improvisation and. an incident-heavy environment.
- Assess your workers before and after training
- Provide visual aids throughout your work area
- Pair new workers with experienced workers
- Be an active supervisor
Build a Superior Workforce with NBS – take the first step with our sample assessments
How do you ensure your workers receive proper training?
The best way to ensure that your company avoids all three of the causes above is to assess your team. Whether you want to assess incoming employees or tenured workers — testing their current knowledge and skills to provide training in their deficit areas creates a safer work environment and increased productivity. By following that process, employers will find a path to proficiency and security.
NBS provides manufacturing & maintenance assessment testing, as well as custom tests that specifically meet your company’s needs. Work with NBS today to create an even safer manufacturing environment tomorrow.