Safety and wellness are part of an ongoing process that extends far beyond training and orientation. Organizations who embed safety rules into daily routines make it easy for workers to follow safe habits without having to think.
Safety tips for the Workplace
Safety is an integral part of any manufacturing operation. Plants should encourage an open-door policy where workers can identify hazards they experience on the floor. The workforce is the lifeblood of all manufacturing processes, and employees who recognize a potential safety risk should be encouraged to immediately report it to a supervisor. A workforce that prioritizes safety will be more able to avoid an imminent hazard. Implementing a safe work environment is a lot of work, but there are some best practices to follow when getting started:
- Wear safety equipment — All employees should wear their mandated safety equipment and encourage peers to do the same.
Use correct posture when lifting — To prevent back injury when picking up an item, workers should keep their back straight, use legs to lift, and should not twist.
Always clear clutter — Cluttered workplaces lead to ergonomic issues because workers have less space to move.
Keep exits clear — If clutter obstructs an exit, workers may not be able to escape in the event of an emergency.
Proactively Prevent slipping and falling — Falls were the second leading cause of nonfatal occupational injuries in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Manage Dust Accumulation — Dust accumulation of more than 1/32 of an inch covering more than 5 percent of a room’s surface poses a significant explosion hazard, according to the Quincy, MA-based National Fire Protection Association. Dust also affects air quality.
Prevent falling objects — Protections such as a toe rail or net can help prevent falling objects from hitting personnel or machinery.
Know Locations of first aid kits — All staff should know the location of all ANSI compliant first-aid-kits in the workplace.
Healthy Habits Pay Off
Manufacturing facilities and warehouses that encourage healthy habits for their employees often see long-term dividends. A smart employer also knows that safety and health practices should extend beyond the production floor. Companies within the manufacturing industry can benefit by incentivizing their employees to follow safety practices outside of work as well.
Incentivize a Healthy Lifestyle Outside of the Workplace
Using incentives to encourage employee health outside of work is a great way for manufacturers to increase productivity. A study done by the Department of Health Policy and Management, which analyzed 7,690 workers at eight U.S. Manufacturing plants, found that 85 percent of injured workers were overweight or obese. This shows a direct link between employee health and workplace safety. Employees who prioritize safe and healthy habits cause fewer accidents and miss less time from work, which directly impacts a company’s bottom line.
Including incentives in the annual wellness plan such as a smoking cessation program, wearable fitness trackers, special parking spaces, extra vacation days, or health club memberships can pay big dividends for a company over the long term. Implementing these incentives can lead to improved employee performance and lower health care plan costs.