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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
APR 06, 2021
Does Your Safety Program Address the Most Common Manufacturing Risks?
The United States Bureau of Labor identified manufacturing as the third most dangerous industry, based on 2019 data. That year, the sector accounted for 395,300 workplace injuries and 35,000 workplace illnesses. Do you know the most common manufacturing risks and does your safety program address them?
Slips, trips and falls
. This category is one of the leading causes of injury and death among all American workers. Anyone working on a high platform, raised piece of equipment or ladder can become a victim without the proper training and/or protective equipment. The potential for harm is so great that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) administers a Fall Prevention Campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about ways to avoid falls. From pre-planning before the job begins, to providing the right equipment and training to employees, OSHA believes that 100 percent of falls are avoidable. For details on this program, click
2. Using heavy machinery.
It’s important to have proper machine guards installed on operator-controlled equipment. It’s equally important to make sure your employees are trained on how to use the equipment with the guards in place. Many accidents have been caused by employees disabling or reconfiguring guards to “speed up” operations, so managing the scheduling of production is also a critical safety element for workers using this machinery. Click
for an OSHA overview on machine guarding safety.
Imagine you are servicing a complex piece of equipment when it suddenly turns on. You could be electrocuted, crushed or worse. Having approved lockout/tagout procedures in place will help safeguard workers from hazardous energy releases. Another way to prevent these accidents is to provide a lockout/tagout safety checklist that employees can use before they start the equipment. For detailed information on OSHA requirements, click
Powered industrial trucks
. This equipment is used across many manufacturing facilities and improper use is usually the reason for an accident. That’s why OSHA requires workers using forklifts, motorized hand trucks, platform lift trucks and the like to be certified for their use. The OSHA standard for this requirement can be found
. Employers are responsible for developing the training and certification process that meets this standard as well as to maintain the record for each employee for a period of three years.
. Manufacturers need to maintain their employment levels at a time when they are experiencing turnover and a general reluctance of potential employees to consider manufacturing as a career. Employees with less than six months on the job are the employees most likely to be injured. Concurrently, more tenured employees have limited time to mentor the newcomers. Add in overtime and 24/7 operations and fatigue becomes another major contributor to serious accidents and fatalities. As a result, planning to maintain consistent staffing levels that meet production requirements is a critical success and safety factor.