Even in the safest of facilities, failure to implement safety planning measures can lead to major injuries and in some cases, fatalities in the workplace. One of the most important planning tools is a clear safety checklist that lists the necessary conditions to ensure safety for all facility personnel.
Listing OSHA requirements and applicable safety laws that apply to your plan offers a solid starting point for creating a detailed safety checklist. Most likely, your company has already researched these requirements and taken steps to ensure compliance. Locate previous OSHA inspection reports to pinpoint any previous safety concerns.
Various industrial societies and safety research organizations offer safety knowledge and recommendations beyond minimum standard requirements. In addition to a wealth of free online information, both the American Society for Testing Materials and Underwriter’s Laboratories offer safety research, recommendations for testing safety products – think expert recommendations for building materials or fire protection products. Additionally, both organizations offer safety consultants and in depth training courses for plant managers, safety personnel or equipment operators.
When compiling a safety checklist, consider six main topics or sections to address:
- Hazardous material handling
- Fire prevention and protection
- Hot surfaces and burns
- Avoiding falls and spills
- Personal Protection
- Safe equipment operation
Whatever your company manufactures, you’ll likely find a variety of publications about any or all of the main safety topics in your industry. A recent publication by the Canadian IRSST identifies potential safety hazards for plastic injection molding equipment operation and even includes printable checklists for facility use. Alternatively, consider contacting equipment manufacturers or vendors for tips and best practices for safe equipment operation.
Another key way to define safety procedures lies in resources your company already has. Consult with current employees, from plant managers to equipment operators to determine potential safety risks and methods for avoiding accidents. Working together with facility employees can provide key insight into potentially overlooked hazards and reinforces the importance of safety with personnel. According to
Implementing proper safety procedure checklists requires communicating goals and requirements with workers to ensure that they follow proper safety procedures. “Achieving exemplary [safety] performance requires more than good systems and procedures,” according to industrial automation expert ABB.
Effectively communicating safety requirements with facility workers is an essential step in creating a safer work environment, reducing damage to critical equipment and avoiding potential legal concerns. Including safety expectations in new employee orientation, safety meetings and in training creates a positive company culture for safety awareness.
What steps has your company taken to improve safety in your facility?
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