Factory training is based on machine safety. Operators spend hours learning about and observing the machinery before they can touch it. The factory equipment is designed to protect operators. It includes everything from physical guards to quick-stop and failsafe protections. Yet, every year millions are subject to workplace-related illnesses and injuries.
This reminds us of how far we’ve come in the past 50 years… and what we still have to do. Manufacturers continue to place worker safety at the forefront of their minds. It is important to ensure that your workplace meets important machine safety standards. These are five tips that manufacturers can use to support OSHA’s goal of creating injury- and illness-free workplaces.
- Highly-trained personnel All employees benefit from extensive training about the machine they are using. This is both before and during their workdays. It includes basic troubleshooting and understanding the machine’s main functions. Also, training teaches the operator how to use personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Comprehensive asset maintenance programs: Safety comes from good function. Routine maintenance is the best way to ensure that your machine stays safe. Machine complications can be reduced by proactive and preventive maintenance. This reduces the risk of injury. Understanding the specific needs of each machine is key to determining asset maintenance schedules that are compatible with them.
- Safety standards and risk assessments Every manufacturer has standard operating protocols (SOPs), and other rigid protocols for machine operation. These rules must be documented and made available. These rules must be learned and employees tested against them. They also need to be continually updated to ensure accuracy and verification. They must be continually improved and expanded.
- Routine Inspections: Inspections are essential for a diligent maintenance program. Operators should be able to conduct their own daily inspections. In order to improve maintenance practices , operators should be able to perform more immersive inspections. Make sure to create a comprehensive maintenance plan and hold technicians responsible for performing thorough inspections. It is possible to save lives by performing regular equipment inspections.
- Safety and failsafe protection – These last-ditch ways to prevent injury must be thoroughly tested and evaluated in order to make sure they work. They should also be taught to workers! It doesn’t matter if it’s an emergency button, a kill switch to power, interlocking switches or commands to a PLC. There must be a way to kill the machine and any processes it performs instantly.
It is not enough to be able to inspect regularly, train effectively, and test safety measures. Safety for workers is an ongoing focus that requires continuous improvement. Manufacturers must not only meet OSHA safety standards but also embody OSHA’s mission to ensure worker safety.