Preventive Measures You Should Take While Working in a Factory
By: John | Date Posted: July 22, 2022
The job of a factory worker might seem like one that would be dangerous, but it can end up putting you in more danger. You’re constantly working with tools and equipment which could injure or kill if not handled with care.
Your profession pushes you to work with chemical fumes, dust particles, and residues from metallic elements that can wreak havoc if you’re not cautious enough. However, while the odds may seem stacked against you, there are ways you can protect yourself.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes factory work’s risk. Therefore, safety guidelines are in place, on an organizational level, to help you do your job without getting injured.
But along with OSHA’s set framework, you should also take measures to protect yourself by exercising vigilance. Curious to know more? Read on to find out:
Educate Yourself on Potential Hazards
Your employer may give you a brief outlook on the dangers of factory work. But that information alone is not enough. It would be best if you strived to learn more about your job and figure out what makes certain elements so dangerous.
For instance, if your company exposed you to asbestos, study what makes these microscopic fibers difficult, why they got banned, and how asbestos-related illnesses make you sick. Since the build-up takes time, once you start feeling unwell, look into consulting a doctor and get yourself examined.
Also, suppose you have a condition like a mesothelioma. In that case, you must contact a mesothelioma doctor and book an appointment on priority.
Also, read up on using heavy tools for too long, the perils of inhaling fumes, and what happens if you get exposed to strong chemicals for a prolonged period. It helps you make necessary preparations and request the appropriate protection and puts you in a better position to see how risky your work is.
Always Train Before Handling Equipment
Factory machines are not standard everyday tools. These have an elaborate control panel and an emergency button to monitor the temperature you need to maintain.
If you have no idea how to use the tool, don’t try learning on the spot. You must follow a proper training workshop under strict supervision to ensure you’re not messing up, damaging the equipment, or accidentally hurting yourself.
Smaller tools like drills also need precautions while handling. You may consult your manager to guide you in working on the equipment. Once you finish the day, you must switch off every machine, put them away into storage, clean them and ensure all components are in place.
Mind Your Environment
Factories are a busy place. During early hours you have tenfold tasks to tend to, so you may not mind your step or watch where you’re putting your equipment.
Injuries may happen if you don’t pick up every stray helmet lying in the middle of the path, stabilize the staircase, or get rid of any rusty nail sticking out.
Any equipment you use must go back to its storage space, and you must shelve protective gear. While working with fluids, use a drip tray and drain it immediately.
Inform your manager if an area needs maintenance and put up sign boards to warn your coworkers to avoid using it. Your attention to detail can keep you and those around you safe. You also prevent many trips and falls, which lead to non-fatal yet painful injuries.
Wear Protective Gear
No matter what task you handle, never start doing your work without the proper protective gear. A helmet, goggles, and safety gloves are primary tools of safety.
But when you move into areas with fumes, dust particles, and tiny fibers, wear an N95 mask that you must change daily. Loud noises require ear muffs. Sounds going over 70 dB and hitting almost 120 dB are harmful to your ears.
You should request your manager install a sound monitor on-site, so you can physically see the amount of noise in the environment. While recyclable protective gear is available, it is best to use disposable ones.
Certain chemical stains cannot get washed at home and can damage the surface layer of the coveralls. Disposable requires one-time use and immediate discarding, so you’re not risking exposure to harmful disease. Likewise, you should ensure that what you’re wearing has quality. If it’s made of loose plastic or gets poorly designed, you will not be safe; instead, it will add to your injury.
Look Out For Fire Hazards
Fires break out easily in closed spaces. Factors are the prime location for a massive fire mishap. The proximity of the machines, lack of air, high temperatures, and combustible fuel can always ignite a spark.
Therefore, you must have all the necessary fire extinguishers and emergency exits at an accessible distance. Before starting any machine, ensure it hasn’t collected dust or rusted from lack of usage.
If it lacks grease, apply oil and reduce friction. It would help if you had sand, fire extinguishers, and water hoses. Electrical fires need sand, while more giant flames need water to cool them down.
Adequate ventilation can also minimize the risk of combustion. It would be best if you pitched in with your manager to invest in large exhaust fans and an appropriate HVAC unit to keep the airflow going.
It prevents the atmosphere from heating up and maintains a healthy circulation of cool air in these places. There need to be neon signs above fire exits with arrows guiding you to them.
Fires spread smoke and soot, which makes it harder to see, but with guiding lights, you will be able to save yourself from getting trapped.
Working in factories carries a certain degree of risk. Most cases of injuries and illnesses stem in these venues, so you must learn to keep yourself safe.
There are several ways you can exercise to minimize getting hurt. Start by learning about the threat your job poses, and a minute of exposure can lead to a severe escalation of your health. Training and workshops keep you updated on adequate equipment handling.
By looking after your environment, you can maintain safety standards high and prevent avoidable mishaps. Never work without your safety gear and take care of possible fire outbreaks.
These measures ensure you’re at minimal risk for any potential hazard while doing your job. It is also the best way to look after your coworkers and your place of employment without disregarding anyone’s safety.
Thank you for reading!