Producing goods and products using machinery is what manufacturing is all about. This vast industry has many different categories; some of the largest sectors include electronics, computers, metals, minerals, coal, plastics, chemicals, wood, printing, transportation, and foods. Much of the work takes place at mills, factories, and plants, and each has their own operating methods, materials, and safety hazards.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 12.75 million Americans held manufacturing jobs in 2017. Companies must adhere to rules and guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which are in place to safeguard both employees and employers. Keeping this in mind, there are certain hazards that can threaten workplace safety, and they should be understood in case of an emergency.
Working in Confined Spaces
Proper training is essential for those who work in confined spaces. The risk of suffocation should be taken into account. Employees should always work in pairs, with one being outside of the confined area. Safety equipment, such as face masks, flashlights, and harnesses, should be within reach.
Some manufacturing workers perform their duties on high platforms, ladders, and other elevated areas. Proper training and constant awareness is vital. Fall protection, such as wearing a hard hat, using a harness, and other safety gear should be standard protocol. Slipping and falling on the ground and on low elevations is also common; in fact, falls are one of the main causes of workplace injuries and fatalities.
Machinery and Vehicles
Heavy machinery and trucks are main components of manufacturing and can cause significant accidents. As with other workplace hazards, safety rules should be given top priority when working with this equipment. Keeping a safe distance, proceeding carefully, and keeping close supervision can prevent tragedies. Machinery should also be properly protected with safety guards.
Hazardous Materials and Fires
Chemicals are used in manufacturing and can be fatal if not handled correctly. Workers should be thoroughly trained before working with caustic substances, such as ethanol, acids, and cleaning solutions. Everything should be clearly labeled, with safety instructions and first-aid supplies at the ready. There are regulations for handling these chemicals, and must be followed closely.
Chemicals can cause workplace fires, as can electrical system malfunctions, welding, and other processes. Lockout/tagout procedures are important to preventing fires and electrocutions. This safety procedure ensures that machines are disconnected from energy sources before any work is performed. It is done with the use of a lockout device, which remains in place until the work is safely finished. Workplaces should also have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers on hand, as well as clearly marked fire exits. Regular maintenance and inspections will keep machines in good working order.
Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Protect the Rights of Injured Workers
If you were injured in a workplace accident, contact a Delaware County workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello. Call us at (610) 892-4940 or complete an online form for a free case evaluation. Our office is in Media, Pennsylvania, where we serve clients in Delaware County, Media, and West Chester, Pennsylvania.