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Safety Management Insights

How to Make Working Around Heavy Machinery Safer for Workers

Posted by Kevin Shoemaker on Apr 6, 2020 10:51:25 AM

Working around heavy machinery is hard and dangerous work. Eliminating all risk in an industrial setting with large pieces of equipment performing often complicated work is impossible. However, there are steps that you can take as a business leader to ensure the lowest probability of accidents possible. Incidents like employee injuries slow down the pace of work, hurt the bottom line of companies, and sap employee morale.

Your workers count on you to create a safe work environment where they know that you have their back, safety-wise. Knowing what to do as the employer to create a safer working environment might be difficult. To help, here are a few tips to consider when optimizing your workspace for safety.

Don’t Use Defective Equipment

It is the burden of the employer to keep all machinery in proper working order. Failure to do so, if negligence can be proven, could cost thousands or sometimes even millions of dollars in legal fees associated with lawsuits filed by injured employees. Keep your workers safe and out of the court system by updating your equipment as prescribed by the manufacturer. You should also stay on top of the latest technological developments within your industry. Advances regarding safety are made regularly, so the latest safeguards can save lives and prevent injury.

Lockout/Tagout

LOTO is an acronym that stands for "lock out tag out". This is a procedure widely adopted in industrial work settings because it is effective at preventing accidents by prioritizing communication about who is using a piece of machinery at any given time. A proper LOTO label should include all the necessary information for workers that might come in contact with the machine.

Continual Training

Human error factors heavily into many workplace accidents involving heavy machinery. Even with the best training, people will make mistakes. When enough time has lapsed, though, or attendance is not required of all employees, safety protocols begin to suffer. More unnecessary risks are taken. Safety precautions are skirted or ignored completely. Procedures are not followed to the letter as they were intended to safeguard safety. Prevent these problems with continual education programs that focus on safety. If necessary, test your employees to guarantee that they understand the safety protocols of your industry and why they are so important to follow.

Working around heavy machinery is sometimes necessary, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be safe. When you make these changes at your company, you'll begin to see greater performance and safety outcomes.

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