Some workplace environments are always going to be more accident-prone than others and machine shops and warehouses are classic examples of sites that need to work hard on being as safe and efficient as possible.
Here is a look at safety standards and what sort of steps you can take to improve the safety of your workplace and keep employees as protected as possible while doing their job, including pointers on regular maintenance procedures and an overview of a potential hazard that can be often overlooked.
Safety profile improves with regular maintenance
Poorly maintained equipment raises the risk of something going wrong unexpectedly and creating a dangerous scenario where a worker could get injured.
If you are proactive with machine maintenance and test and replace components as soon as you see something has started to wear or function incorrectly that will help to reduce the prospect of an accident occurring.
You can often find the replacement parts and equipment upgrades you need by visiting a site like RS and if you combine a regular maintenance schedule with regular safety training and reviews, this should have the effect of boosting your safety profile.
Be aware of unexpected machine startups
You might rightly believe that workers are most at risk of injury when they are operating the machinery normally during their course of their daily work schedule but there are an alarming number of serious accidents and fatalities that happen during scheduled maintenance and servicing.
If the proper lockout procedures are not followed it could create a scenario where the energy source is still live or has not been sufficiently de-energized, which then creates a potentially dangerous situation where the machine starts up unexpectedly, causing crushing injuries, electrocution or any other number of highly threatening problems with the machinery while someone is working on it thinking the power has been isolated.
Make sure you have safety procedures in place that protect your workers from the threat of unexpected machine startups.
Reducing the risk of an accident
The purpose of carrying out a risk assessment on your machinery is to help minimize the prospect of an accident happening during normal operation.
However, it should always be noted that there is no such thing as a zero-risk guarantee that nothing is going to go wrong with the machinery or operator error is not going to create a dangerous situation.
What you can do is carry out a risk assessment by looking at potential hazards and using controlled system faults so that you have a better idea of what could happen in the event of a real emergency situation.
Some accidents can be avoided simply by having a more organized work environment where cables and other potential slip and trip hazards are tidied and secured away from where machine operators and workers might be passing or standing.
Carry out regular checks to see that any equipment, tools, and machinery are secured and kept tidied away and encourage all employees in that area to be vigilant and aware of the risks they face when their environment is poorly laid out and organized.