How to Improve Safety in Industrial Settings

Workplace wellbeing is improving all the time thanks to more robust health and safety regulations.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that worker illnesses and injuries have dramatically fallen in half a century, dropping from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 2.7 per 100 in 2020.

Some may argue that the latter figure remains too high and that almost all workplace incidents can be avoided or prevented by following proper procedures.

The most common violated safety standards

According to OSHA, the following are the areas where safety standards are found to have slipped the most.

  1. Fall Protection, construction
  2. Hazard Communication, general industry
  3. Ladders, construction
  4. Respiratory Protection, general industry
  5. Scaffolding, construction
  6. Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks, general industry
  8. Fall Protection Training, construction
  9. Eye and Face Protection, construction
  10. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general industry

What can be put in place to meet safety standards?

Worker safety should be at the forefront of any industrial business leader’s mind. The duty of care to employees is paramount, but there are additional concerns around increased downtime and the risk of costly lawsuits if workers are put in harm.

Personal Protective Equipment

What PPE is required may change according to the nature of your operations, or the responsibilities of individual workers.

For those in manufacturing or construction settings, hi-vis clothing and protective gear such as hard hats and capped boots are vital.

Eye protection may also be required as well as respirators for those who work exposed to environmental chemicals or dust.

Additional safety equipment

Safeguards can also be put in place from a technological perspective.

Safety light curtain sensors can be utilised to shut down machinery when they detect movement in the vicinity of the device.

Running certain processes via human-guided machinery can also increase safety standards. Automotive assembly lines are examples of processes where human expertise remains important but robotic machinery can improve efficiency and safety.

Proper signage

Messaging around the workplace is vital to inform people of potential hazards and remind them of correct procedures.

Many health and safety regulations focus on correct messaging and signage around the workplace. Many templates and products are freely available to buy to immediately bring order to busy surroundings.

Regular maintenance and training

Having a program of machine maintenance will keep your operations running smoothly and also improve safety outcomes as it decreases the chances of faults and breakages.

Ensuring that workers are fully briefed and trained on aspects of workplace safety gives individuals the knowledge to make better decisions and protect themselves, as well as others.

Government grants are available  to be put towards the training of staff to recognize and prevent workplace hazards.