One of the most important aspects of running and working in a plant is a workplace safety plan. It ensures both team members’ safety and smooth operations, thereby benefiting both the individuals and the organization’s goals.
Checking workplace safety periodically throughout the day and week as part of regular maintenance can become second nature; just another part of the routine—with huge benefits.
As a manager, it shows your team that you care about them and their wellbeing. As an employee, it protects you and your teammates from serious injury and loss of income. Being safety orientated improves overall morale, productivity, and makes a good impression on investors and your organization’s clients.
Here are our top 5 tips on workplace safety for all plant managers:
1. Proper equipment usage and lifting posture
Misusing tools and machines is the most prevalent cause of workplace injuries. When using equipment, ensure you are properly trained on how to use each piece of equipment correctly and for its intended purpose. This includes proper lifting posture: Keep your back straight, use your legs to lift, and pick up the item without stooping or twisting. Whenever possible, use mechanical aids such as a conveyor belt, wheelbarrow, or forklift.
2. Have your team wear safety equipment (PPE)
When cleaning up messes and using equipment, make sure you wear the proper safety equipment. Always check to ensure that it is undamaged before use.
3. Conduct regular plant risk assessments
Always be aware of what could go wrong and what you can do to prevent a potentially dangerous situation. This rule extends to your equipment: regularly clean and inspect equipment to ensure its safety. Never take unnecessary risks and stay calm if you find yourself in a perilous predicament. It’s also important for organizations to conduct overall risk assessments to identify and prevent work hazards or have a safety officer with special training to recognize and analyze hazards.
4. Regularly maintained cleanliness
Keeping your work area clean does wonders when it comes to preventing accidents. A clean and organized area helps to create a better, less stressful work atmosphere. Take into consideration the following factors: Proper ventilation and lighting fixtures, clear walkways, and that spills are cleaned up immediately to prevent slipping. If you are dealing with a liquid, use drip pans and guards. Also, check your workplace to make sure there are no holes, loose boards, or nails projecting from the floor.
5. Safety Training and communication of unsafe conditions
If you see something that could potentially hurt someone, remove the object or clean the area if you can do so safely. Otherwise, inform your supervisor. Since your supervisor is legally obligated to keep you and your fellow employees’ working environment safe, they must take action.
September is Disability Employment Month in the Province of B.C.
If you’re looking to increase the “Inclusion” part of your Diversity and Inclusion program, The Neil Squire Society has you covered with their Working Together program, offering employers access to skilled, job-ready candidates with disabilities. Your company may also qualify for a wage subsidy on these hires.
If you are an employee of a mid to large plant struggling with a barrier to work due to a disability, the Neil Squire Society has your back! You may qualify to receive hearing aids or motorized wheelchair upgrades and/or modifications to your vehicle through the WorkBC Assistive Technology Services.
If you’re under or unemployed, or an employee of a small plant, your access to assistive technology options through the WorkBC Assistive Technology Services really increases, so make sure you get in touch! In this case, a “barrier to work” is defined as anything that prevents you from being able to perform your work. For example chronic back pain, hearing loss, and a decrease in the control over fine motor skills, to name a few.
If you have resources you’d like us to add to this article, please leave us a comment.