In the manufacturing industry, working conditions, responsibilities, processes and safety hazards are all something to keep in mind throughout the workday. Here are the biggest risks to be aware of.
Slip, Trips and Falls
Over a quarter (26 percent) of all nonfatal injuries involved slips, trips and falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), making this the number one thing to be aware of. Accidents commonly happen when employees are on ladders, cherry pickers and other raised platforms.
You should use extreme caution in these situations and be sure to wear fall-protection gear like harnesses and anchor points. Also, make sure to place appropriate signs in areas where liquids have been spilled.
Most manufacturing employees frequently use or are in contact with industrial vehicles like forklifts and stock chasers. Without following proper safety practices, these can be extremely dangerous. In fact, the CDC reports, “In 2016, 1,252 U.S. workers died in work-related crashes involving motor vehicles (24 percent of all deaths).”
Therefore, you should always ensure you’re properly trained before using these vehicles and always follow operating procedures outlined by OSHA. Whenever you’re around others that are using them, be sure to keep a safe distance, and let drivers know when you’re approaching.
Chemicals like cleaning solutions, battery acid and metalworking fluids are also very dangerous. Not only can they cause sickness, burns and skin injuries, but they can also create long-term issues and result in damage to internal organs, reproductive problems and various types of cancer. Always use the utmost caution when handling these types of materials.
Note that they come in four primary forms — solids, liquids, vapors and dusts. For the latter two, you may not always know that you’re breathing them in. Therefore, you need to learn how to properly identify all hazardous chemicals and receive full training on how to handle them. Check out this free resource from OSHA to learn about hazard recognition.
A career in the manufacturing industry can be enjoyable and rewarding. It also comes with a certain set of risks that employees need to be aware of. Familiarizing yourself with the ones listed here and knowing safety protocol should help keep you safer and greatly reduce your odds of serious injury or illness.