Putting aside, for a moment, safety protocols and precautions now in demand to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, there are some basic safety standards every manufacturing company should have in place. A safe workplace is one in which workers can concentrate on their jobs and be productive without having to think twice about whether they’re working in an environment suitable to keep them safe.
But safety isn’t just a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. It’s important to not only embrace safety protocols but to make sure they’re correctly in place.
Here are some daily checks that can be made to ensure the safety of a manufacturing company.
Be aware of your surroundings.
How well do you know the lay of the land in your company? When was the last time a manager walked the floor and really took a good look around? The shop floor, warehouse, and field operations are all busy places, which means they’re rich with opportunities for things to go very wrong. It’s important to know how things are supposed to look, how equipment is supposed to be stored, how things are supposed to be cleaned, etc., in order to keep the safety standard high. One little thing out of place can create a safety hazard for everyone. Regular inspections can help make sure things are where they belong and that walkways and other high-traffic areas are evident on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Educate the workforce.
If your team is aware of the hazards and dangers of the workplace, even if it’s a minor or low risk, they’re more likely to be aware of them and avoid them. Offer regular training on the importance of proper machine handling, properly storing tools and other electrical equipment, and correctly handling and disposing of chemicals. Ensure your team is aware of how to mitigate the risk of fire and, should one happen, how to put it out correctly.
If you see something, say something.
This isn’t just a good mantra for public transportation and open spaces. Devise a communications and reporting system to empower workers to provide information on possibly dangerous situations, with or without leaving their names, to allow those conditions to be addressed quickly. The sooner problem spots and hazardous conditions are identified, the sooner they can be fixed and safer for everyone.
Create an emergency blueprint.
Your team and management might have the best intentions and a well-thought-out and implemented concept for keeping everyone safe. Unfortunately, nothing is 100% foolproof. Do your employees know what to do when something goes wrong? Do they know how to evacuate the premises and where to meet for a safety check as first responders arrive? If you don’t already have a safety plan in place, there’s no better time to create one. If you do, it’s time to make sure all your employees know of it and know what’s expected of them.
Create a culture of safety.
Don’t just use the word: make it meaningful. If your company prioritizes safety from the top down and incorporates a culture in which safety is important to everyone and is part of everyone’s responsibilities, it will become a focal point for every employee. It will be a unifying role and duty to all employees — if everyone has a role to play, everyone has a stake in the game.
The other part of an effective safety protocol is updating it as situations demand. If the company moves into a new building or new equipment is added, your protocols might change. A safety plan is a living, breathing thing that will need to be updated from time to time to remain effective. Right now, the use of social distancing and personal protective equipment might be at the top of your safety list — a year ago, PPE might have never crossed your mind. Things change, and your safety programs need to reflect the current environment.
If you need a hand in developing a safety program or looking to hire safety managers, contact Debbie’s Staffing. We’ve worked with some of the top companies in the country and can help devise a program that will work for your company and employees. Contact Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get started!