Organizational safety is a major concern for labor laws practitioners, and human rights organizations. Although labor rights protocols and workplace conditions have improved tremendously over the years, concerns regarding safety protocols are still there. Despite advanced technology, safety at manufacturing plants is still a concern because companies tend to overlook minor measures that can lead do something catastrophic. Here are some important safety issues that should be addressed at manufacturing plants.
Poor or Inadequate Maintenance Protocols
One of the most common reasons behind accidents and safety issues at manufacturing plants is the subpar maintenance protocols. Some small to medium scale plants, especially those in regions where laws are not too strict often do not have any safety protocols n place. A machine might be working seemingly well but still could have been an imminent threat to employees around it. There could be a short circuit, a gas leak or a loose bolt. Machines must be checked periodically and regularly for any such hazards.
Many manufacturing plants do have maintenance technicians and engineers who run the inspections. However, merely periodical inspection is still inadequate. A bolt can loosen up or a cable can burn at any time while the machine is working and a slight leakage can easily surpass the human eye. It is therefore crucial that the employees handling the machines are trained to pick up warnings such as unusual wires, fluid dripping around machines or any unusual smell and report them immediately.
Lack of Risk Management Procedures
When a group of employees is working on a manufacturing plant surrounded by machines and equipment, there is always a risk of an accident. It is therefore important that adequate risk management protocols are in place to eliminate such threats, even one worker can pose a risk to another worker when the latter is working on a machine when it is turned off but another worker turns it off. A very common example is employees getting into fatal accidents after walking into elevators that were not meant to be used due to malfunction. Such risks can be easily eliminated by placing labels and warnings, and training the employees about understanding and mitigating such risks.
Some machines can release unexpected energy if they are accidentally turned on during a malfunction or while undergoing maintenance and repairs. This can be a huge risk to workers around the machine. This threat is higher in plants with automated manufacturing processes. This hazard can be prevented by installing proper lockout tagout kits that signal other employees about machine shutdown and potential hazards. Besides placing these tags, employees should be trained about understanding and using these tag out locks.
Lack of Personal Protective Equipment
Many employees, especially in smaller industries are made to work in plants handling hazardous equipment or chemicals without any protective gear. Personal Protective Equipment is designed to keep employees safe from specific hazards such as a gas leak, burns or even radioactive leakages. However, lack of protective gear can result in either immediate death or at times health issues in the long run due to constant exposure to harmful substances.