In an industrial environment, safety should always be a number one priority, so it’s up to everyone from workers to the CEO to look out for hazards. From slips and falls to fires, there are a lot of things that can potentially go wrong in an industrial environment, so here are some of the hazards you should report right away and never ignore.
Broken or missing machine guards
There are a number of ways that people can be injured by machinery, from getting stuck in moving parts to get caught on sharp edges. Machine guards, usually made from strong plastic or mesh, guard against many of these accidents, but like any part of the machine, they can get broken or even be removed deliberately by someone impatient. If you spot that a machine guard is missing or broken, don’t use the machine and report it immediately.
During a busy shift, if you see a spill, it may be tempting to just place a wet floor sign and ignore it until later. However, spills can be extremely dangerous in industrial environments, as people may be carrying equipment or could injure themselves on a sharp corner as they fall, so they need to be cleaned properly as soon as possible. Every industrial workplace should have oil spill kits and other specialist equipment on hand so that spills can be dealt with efficiently.
Any electrics that need to be installed or repaired should be dealt with by a qualified electrician. If you spot something like a damaged wire, sparks or signs of burning, shut off power to the relevant equipment and get an electrician in before you attempt to use it again. Damaged electrical items can be dangerous as they can lead to electric shocks or start fires.
Not having a lockout/tagout system
It’s vital that machines that are being serviced aren’t started up, which is why it’s worth using a lockout/tagout system or similar in your workplace. This involves the machine being ‘locked’ while it is serviced, with the person doing the work keeping hold of the key. If your workplace relies on using a sign, then this may not be the best option, as it can easily be misplaced or ignored.
Being encouraged to break the rules
Health and safety rules exist for a reason, but if employees are encouraged to ignore guidelines because it’s busy and they take too long, then the procedures you’ve put in place simply won’t work.
It’s important to create an environment where employees can speak up if they are being put in danger. From encouraging anonymous reporting to regular training sessions to refresh their health and safety knowledge, you can build an environment where everyone looks out for each other.
Being aware of the common hazards in an industrial environment, and putting systems in place to deal with them, can help your business avoid accidents and injuries in your workplace.