Health and safety checks for engineering, manufacturing

Health and safety checks in engineering and manufacturing workplaces are paramount and companies should be aware of potential hazards. Three of the biggest concerns are highlighted with some solutions.

By Frank Lamb, Automation Primer September 25, 2016

In any engineering or manufacturing workplace, health and safety should always be the top priority. The fact is manufacturing and engineering industries have the most workplace accidents each year. This is because there are so many risk factors to take into account, many of which are hidden. If the company is unaware of where these risks lay, it can result in severe accidents. Even if the facility is automated, which is the case for many manufacturing companies, the risk still looms.

Below are three of the biggest concerns that relate to manufacturing and engineering workplace health and safety with advice and suggestions for how to prevent future accidents from occurring.

Lack of machine maintenance

The most common cause of accidents in the manufacturing and engineering industries is a lack of maintenance. Machinery, tools, and equipment that are not properly maintained can quickly become dangerous. One of the issues that links to this is automation because many companies fail to perform regular checks once their company is automated. Of course, anyone using machinery should know how to perform quick daily checks to ensure that each piece is safe to use. They should be aware of the warning signs that something isn’t right, from how it sounds to how it works. Regular checks are a crucial in preventing potential accidents for machinery maintenance.

Constant hazards

The fact is, that in manufacturing and engineering, there are constant hazards to be aware of. Even with proper maintenance and regular checks, some tools and machinery are constantly dangerous. Proper labeling and awareness can help reduce some potential risks. Being aware of the facility’s layout can help companies and workers be aware of hazardous areas such as small spaces with machinery While constant hazards can’t be removed, they can be effectively managed. This is key to reducing potential risks and making the working environment a safer one overall.

Insufficient training

How safe a facility is, depends on how well-trained the people working there are. A factory or plant is only as safe as the company make it, which means training should be a priority. This doesn’t simply mean offering training when employees start, but also regular training to ensure that health and safety is always at the forefront of their minds. Only by awareness and understanding of the risks, can you reduce the chances of an accident occurring.

Taking steps to avert these potential pitfalls can help to reduce the chances of an accident occurring in your facility. Regardless of whether your facility is automated, accidents can still occur.

Frank Lamb is the founder of Automation Consulting Services Inc. This article originally appeared on the Automation Primer blog. Automation Primer is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

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