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Factory Safety

Factory Safety

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Often when we think of accidents in the workplace, factory accidents spring to mind.

  • Is your factory safety manual up-to-date?
  • When did you last conduct a factory safety risk assessment?

Save yourself time by letting us help you with your factory safety issues

Common factory safety issues

Slips, Trips and Falls in the Factory – One of the most common factory safety issues are accidents from slipping, tripping or falling. Factory machinery adds a more dangerous element to the mix. Good housekeeping and staff safety training can prevent a vast amount of these injuries.

Factory Transport Safety – The ‘workhorse’ in many factories is the forklift truck. This along with heavy goods vehicles and specialised equipment such as diggers and mobile cranes mean that transport is key safety risk factor. Extra care and attention is needed from both staff and drivers to prevent accidents happening. Accidents can also happen when loading or unloading delivery vehicles. Fumes from vehicles need to be properly ventilated to avoid workplace pollution.

Manual handling is more than just lifting heavy items – it includes putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving of a load.

Safer Manual Handling – To avoid manual handling risks, you will need to investigate whether manual handling can be eliminated or reduced.

Solutions could involve:

  • Mechanical handling instead of manual handling.
  • Mechanical assistance eg using manual or electrical hoists or pneumatic platforms
  • Adequate safe manual handling training for your employees

Hazardous Substances in the Factory

Exposure to hazardous substances can occur during most factory operations but frequently occurs during:

  • Machining as the material being machined causes harmful dust or toxic fumes
  • Welding, as the heating of metal gives off hazardous fumes
  • Painting vapours from paint thinners or solvents could be hazardous
  • Cleaning and de-greasing where solvents might be hazardous

LEV (local exhaust ventilation) equipment examination and testing is a legal requirement

  • Every 14 months
  • Or if metal articles are abraded or polished for more than 12 hours a week, every 6 months.

LEV testing is available from Safety for Work Ltd

Factory Equipment Safety

Employers must ensure that work equipment, of any age or source, is safe and its use does not have any health and safety risks.

The range of work equipment is very wide and includes:

  • Hand tools
  • Factory machinery
  • Office machinery
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Lifting equipment
  • General-use equipment such as ladders and steps
  • A series of machines connected together in a manufacturing line.

Factory Noise Risks and Noise Risk Assessments

An employer has a duty to protect employees from excessive noise. If you cannot hear a person speaking 2m away in a normal voice anywhere in the factory then the noise is likely to be 85dB(A) or above and a noise survey should be carried out.

Noise risk assessments are available from Safety for Work Ltd – click here

Electricity Safety in the Factory

Electricity is used extensively in all factories often at a higher voltage, 415v, than domestic supplies. PAT (portable appliance testing) needs to be conducted regularly.

The dangers from electricity can come from:

  • Portable Electrical Equipment
  • If at all possible, portable electrical equipment should be operating at voltages of 50v AC or less.
  • Leads, Plugs and Sockets are often a source of accidents. Problems usually arise from damage to the insulation on the lead or strain on the connection into the plug
  • Personal Protective Equipment – including Work clothing

A significant contribution to safety in the factory can be made by personnel being dressed appropriately.