Industrial safety consists of a series of regulations and methods used to protect each worker in an industrial building, minimizing the risk of the activities and during the production phases.
Without it, the potential risks of each activity would have an open field to cause damage, leading the industry into an unpleasant and concerning condition.
The main goal is to provide best conditions for productivity, with industrial flooring being an important part of industrial safety.
What is industrial safety?
Basically, industrial safety is a set of measures and standards that ensure the integrity of an industry‘s environment. In other words, whether human beings, material goods or the environment are involved.
Occupational injuries and illnesses cost employers and insurance companies millions of dollars every year.
Overexertion leads the list of injury causes.
Overexertion can be understood as throwing, carrying, holding, pushing, or lifting objects, which represent a quarter of injuries in all workplaces, that is a total of 25%.
Workers in an industrial building interact with machinery, equipment, instruments, chemicals, etc. and are exposed to different risks and hazards. Therefore, it is necessary to properly define and detail each element involved.
Industrial safety measures are mandatory and legally binding. Any failure to comply by a company will result in a fine or strict sanction.
In addition, industrial safety includes regulations for directing actions in emergency situations on the building.
Why is it important to have safety measures in workplaces?
Although workspaces are environments for productivity, they cannot be taken for granted to be safe.
The history of the industry includes several cases of fatal risks for people, companies and the environment. Their cause is due to the omission and/or underestimation of industrial safety measures.
Although the machinery is manufactured under quality standards and controls, poor handling can cause both the operator and the machine to be injured or damaged by accidents or unintentional situations.
Industrial safety is responsible for establishing good practices that are efficient, hygienic, with low environmental impact and, in general, ideal conditions for carrying out activities; good lighting, ventilation and traffic surfaces in perfect condition.
How can we increase industrial safety?
The first thing to do is to make a self-analyze: are we doing enough to guarantee industrial safety? Are there meetings to discuss it?
If you want to avoid accidents at work, it’s time to start considering the possibility of integrating safety as a fundamental element within the corporate culture within the company.
You can start by analyzing what are the causes of the injuries that occur within the workplace and surveying employees on how industrial safety could be improved, reducing risks, installing or implementing industrial protections and personal protective equipment (PPE), new safety protocols, etc.
Once all this information has been gathered, you are ready to implement those security improvements in your workspace.
Main accident prevention measures
The Health and Safefety Executive is made up of regulations aimed at certain areas of work.
Without paying too much attention to technicalities or strict definitions, here are the main accident prevention measures:
- First of all, the work space must remain clean and organized. The corridors must be free of obstacles and substances and well illuminated. All waste and residues must be treated and disposed of.
- To have a prepared floor without cracks and faults that could cause accidents.
- Heavy machinery, equipment and instruments must be operated according to the manufacturer’s specifications. In addition, they must receive regular maintenance and continuous inspection and evaluation.
- Establish floor marking of work spaces and safety signs, in order to identify fire extinguishers, emergency exits and hazardous areas, such as electrical contacts, tanks for toxic and flammable substances, etc.
- All employees must be equipped with basic protective equipment such as safety shoes, safety glasses, earplugs, helmets, masks, gloves, etc.
- Work spaces must have areas with sanitary installations to guarantee hygiene in production activities.
10 tips to increase industrial safety in workspaces
An accident at work has a big impact on any company.
Paperwork, loss of productivity, affecting the performance of other employees… the consequences are serious.
Therefore, here we have 10 tips or exercises that you should start implementing as soon as possible to improve industrial safety to avoid accidents at work.
1. Start on the floor
Safety within a workspace starts with its foundation. A BECOSAN® non slip industrial flooring will help avoid:
- Falls, slips, and trips.
- Avoiding the appearance of cracks.
- Reducing maintenance and cleaning.
It is a type of flooring that offers safety to workers.
2. Create safety protocols
Safety within a workspace begins with the design of that same space.
The construction process of any industrial warehouse or logistics centre, must be designed to include protective measures for employees.
Once built, you can always contact professionals to help you implement safety protocols and train your employees to follow the safety measures.
Some employers who contact doctors and physician specialists to analyze the consequences of certain load-bearing jobs, in order to improve action guideline, and thus avoid causing pain.
3. Get employees to stretch in between work tasks
It may seem silly, but if we want to improve the health of our employees, stretching during breaks can avoid putting too much pressure on their bodies and potentially avoid work-related injuries.
This happens when we are doing a lot of repetitive movements.
With just a 5minute stretch break, you can loosen circulation or relieve muscle tension.
4. Keeping things clean and organized
A dirty and messy workspace is another of the most frequent causes of work-related accidents.
It is convenient to carry out periodic inspections to spot elements of danger in our day-to-day working environment: dirty and slippery floors, tools scattered on the floor, etc.
The 5S method is an excellent organization tool that helps keep everything tidy and clean.
5. Dialogue with employees
Let your workers know that they can come to you with their concerns and fears about workplace safety.
They may notice mistakes or industrial safety issues that you could have missed.
Of course, meetings with employees are essential to review all safety protocols and discuss how to improve occupational risk prevention in the workplace.
You must also assign a person in charge amongst your employees who will supervise security within the industrial warehouse and be a direct intermediary between you and the rest of the employees.
6. Reward employees who follow safety rules
Rewards are one of the easiest ways to get your workers to follow safety rules.
By doing this, you will have the workers 100% committed to industrial safety and you will immediately see results in the form of fewer injuries within your workspace.
7. Collaborate with doctors
As we mentioned in the first tip, doctors can provide valuable information on how to avoid injuries in the workplace.
It is enough for them to analyze the work tasks or movement patterns to be able to foresee if the workers may suffer injuries in the future.
They can also identify what activities are the most dangerous.
In this way, guidelines can be implemented to improve the physical performance of employees and reorganize workers to do the appropriate tasks.
8. Give employees the right tools
This will help create a safe work environment. But, in addition to giving them the highest quality equipment, these must be inspected constantly to make sure that they are clean and can be used correctly.
Equipment and tool malfunction is another main reason for accidents at work.
9. Use signs and labels
Signs and labels are an effective way (and very economical) to publicize what areas within the workplace are dangerous, knowing how to identify them, etc.
Whether words or images, industrial signs serve to warn workers.
Their function is to warn and remind all employees, from the most experienced ones to the newcomers.
10. Train employees
Training employees is a necessity in any job, but even more so when there are physical risks.
Adequately training employees gives them access to all the necessary knowledge so that they know how to act at each point of their workspace, so that they can feel safe and carry out their work effectively.