Sadly, 340 Americans lost their lives in 2020 in manufacturing-related accidents, while a further 312,400 were injured but survived . This places the manufacturing industry fairly close to the head of the leaderboard that nobody wants a place on – the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries .
To combat this position, all scientific equipment manufacturers in the USA should consider ways in which they can improve safety in the workplace.
Top 5 safety considerations for scientific equipment manufacturers in the USA
1. Maintain a safe operating area
This includes removing trip hazards and ensuring that spills are cleaned up straight away to prevent accidents from slips or falls. Site managers should perform regular safety audits of the manufacturing facility to ensure that hazards are limited to as low as reasonably achievable and that no sharp edges or exposed machinery pose a risk to workers in the vicinity.
2. Follow manufacturer instructions
Manufacturing equipment that is corroded, vibrating, or damaged poses grave risks to its operators. For this reason, it is essential that maintenance is performed in accordance with manufacturer instructions, or when a concern is raised about the safe operation of the machinery in question. Modern machinery may have AI-powered predictive maintenance that will alert operators to the need to perform maintenance. However, with or without this technology, the maintenance schedule must be strictly adhered to.
3. Use appropriate PPE
Personal protective equipment should be worn by all factory workers. The specific type of PPE worn will differ depending on their particular role, the equipment with which they are required to interact, and the operating conditions in which they are working within a scientific equipment manufacturing facility. For example, it could include eye guards, gloves, helmets, and respirators. It is vital that all PPE is correctly fitted and maintained in perfect condition. Damaged or aged PPE must be replaced, and all PPE should be inspected regularly to guard against defects.
4. Enforce safety training
All staff must be appropriately trained for their role and the environment in which they work. They must understand how to use the equipment correctly and how to navigate the factory safely. They must apprehend how to report concerns and how to evacuate in the event of an emergency safely. Health and safety training must be mandated for new starters, and regular refresher training should be offered to maintain high levels of compliance.
5. Effective communication is key
Two-way communication underpins all safety procedures within a manufacturing environment. All of the training, signage, and PPE in the world will not prevent accidents if no one discusses expectations or concerns about safety hazards. Staff must understand the route for escalating issues and concerns and managers must clearly communicate how and when they will be addressed.
Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility, and by following these five safety rules, there is a much-reduced likelihood that fatal accidents will occur.