Feeling safe is an important aspect of life. A safe house, a safe job, etc., are things everyone desires. To that end, society has developed procedures for almost everything we do, especially in the field of workplace safety. Obviously, some work environments are more dangerous than others. In these situations, "safety first" is more than just a saying. With that in mind, below are the top safety guidelines for employees working in hazardous environments.
All workers should wear the required safety gear while on the premises. The equipment must also be kept clean and maintained. Wearing loose clothing or jewelry while on the job should be avoided. In addition, people with long hair must keep it tied back when working with moving machinery.
To protect yourself and those around you, always be aware of what could go wrong and what you can do to prevent a potentially dangerous situation. Never take unnecessary risks and stay calm if you find yourself in a perilous predicament. Every company should conduct a risk assessment to identify and prevent work hazards. Some organizations choose to have a safety officer with special training to recognize and analyze hazards.
Safety training is essential when working in a plant. Employees must be aware of all safety procedures, especially as they pertain to their specific position. Special training should occur periodically to reduce the risks of accidents.
Fire and other evacuation drills are an excellent way to help everyone understand the best conduct in case of an emergency. Employees should be familiar with all emergency exists and know where fire extinguishers are kept and how to use them. It’s also important to determine which machines must be shut down and which can be left running while evacuating the building.
All tools should be kept clean and in perfect working condition. Any defects should be immediately reported. Also, no tools should be left in a location not meant for storage.
Machinery should be in full working condition and have all the manufacturer’s safety guards installed. Anytime a malfunction or defect is noticed, go straight to the maintenance department and review the instruction manual. Hazardous manual handling continues to be an underrated risk in many industries. If you’re not trained properly in the technical aspects of operating certain machinery, don’t use it. After your work is done, always remember to shut down the machine.
Keeping your work area clean does wonders when it comes to preventing accidents. A clean and organized area helps to create a better, less stressful work atmosphere. Many factors should be taken into consideration, including proper ventilation and lighting fixtures.
Factories can pose a lot of risks, so maintaining a clear head is mandatory. Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol should be forbidden. People who must take certain medications that have side effects should notify their supervisors.
Every company should ensure that its workers are aware of all safety procedures and that the work environment is safe. The rules must apply to everyone, and each breach in following them should be addressed and/or punished. No employee should ever have to worry about working in unsafe conditions, because when it comes to factory work, the consequences can be severe.
Stacy Morris is an economist who writes for Site Craft, a leading supplier of safety and material handling equipment.