Safety Hazards that are Common at Manufacturing Plants

Maintaining workplace safety is very critical for employers, especially when we are increasing our reliance on more automated technologies. A place surrounded by machines, fuels, and chemicals is vulnerable to accidents any day. Safety practices are important to ensure a safe work environment for your workers and avoid losses that occur due to accidents. Here are some of the common hazards of manufacturing plants that can easily be avoided.


Inadequate Training

Orientation and training are a standard industry practice for all organizations. However, while most organizations pay attention to training regarding quality and corporate culture, they usually overlook training regarding workplace safety. A lot of manufacturing plants have reported accidents that resulted in casualties despite safety technologies in place because workers were not trained and educated about using those safety technologies.

It is important that all employees are given regular training along with written manuals regarding all emergency situations that can potentially occur at the workplace. This training should be further followed up by regular mock drills and managers should ensure that each employee on the premises is well aware of all safety protocols.

Emergency Exits and Fire Safety

The deadly factory fires in 2012 in some of the Asian countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh raised serious alarms in the international circuit. These factories were manufacturing garments for popular Western fashion labels. The investigations revealed that either the factories had inadequate fire safety systems and a lack of fire exits. In some accidents in the west, causalities occurred in factories where safety systems and exits were in place but the employees were not aware of using them. Factory fires are one of the most common types of accidents around the world. You can easily minimize the causalities by ensuring that in-house fire safety equipment is installed and accessible to your workforce. There should be well-marked emergency exits and the floor plans should be placed on all locations.

Emergency and Automatic Shutdown

At times a seemingly perfect machine can malfunction at any point while it is still in use. No matter how well they are inspected and maintained, a machine is a machine at the end of the day. There can be a short circuit, a malfunctioning switch or a gas or fuel leakage. Any of these minor issues can be a catastrophe in the making, especially if there is someone working on such a machine. Some machines even malfunction due to unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters. The nuclear accident in Japan’s Fukushima power plant resulted due to the tsunami. The impact of such hazards can be mitigated by installing emergency and automatic shutdown mechanisms. Automatic shutdown systems allow the machine to shut down on its own when it senses a problem or a hazard.

Lockout Tagout Locks

Imagine a machine is under maintenance or a worker shuts it down for repairs and another worker turns it on unknowingly. This could be a huge disaster and a major cause of accidents at manufacturing plants. Even if you are a small scale manufacturing plant, investing in lockout tagout locks is important to prevent such accidents. These locks signal other workers to keep off-limits when the machine is under maintenance or requires repairs.