Employers in light industrial environments have the added responsibility of maintaining equipment to keep a safe and healthy workplace. A safety program goes a long way toward improving your work environment, while a maintenance schedule will ensure that you maintain your equipment consistently.
Part of your procedure must include using personal protective equipment (PPE)
Personal protective equipment is anything worn to minimize exposure to the hazards that could cause injuries and illnesses. Just as regular maintenance on your machinery ensures that all guards, warning signs, cages, and alarms are working correctly to protect your workers, PPE serves the same purpose throughout the shop floor.
Personal protective equipment could include any of the following:
- Safety glasses and shields
- Steel-toed shoes and boots
- Ear protection (plugs or muffs)
- Hard hats
- Various types of clothing
PPE protects your workers from workplace hazards such as flying metal chips, loud noises, chemicals, falling items, electrical hazards, and a host of illnesses.
Maintaining your equipment will reduce risks for your workers.
Schedule your equipment checks as often as suggested by the manufacturer or even more often if a risk assessment dictates it. Specific maintenance tasks, as recommended by the manufacturer, should be completed daily. These checks can prevent more severe problems down the road.
As mentioned, maintaining safety devices around the machinery–guards, alarms, safety cages, and warning signs—can also prevent workplace injuries. And if your company uses equipment that produces heat, check the environment around it regularly. Keep the floors cleared, and always provide adequate ventilation. Any combustible materials should be removed from the area and appropriately stored. Maintain and check fire extinguishers and detectors as required.
Some equipment checks might be required by law.
In addition to their standard repairs and maintenance, some of the equipment will require inspections by law. Examples of these could include lifting equipment (forklifts and cranes), power presses, gas appliances, and pressure systems. You‘ll be required to keep the records and certificates of these inspections, along with the documents that detail any repair work.
Check and repair your equipment safely.
Whenever any equipment is to be checked or repaired, it needs to be turned off and disabled so no one can start it accidentally. This safety procedure is called “lockout/tagout.“ According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): “Lockout/tagout refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities.“ This device provides positive restraints on the machine‘s electrical system along with a warning sign not to remove it.
Let us help you create a safer work environment.
We are here to help our clients in any way we can. Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional help you need. We‘ve been in business for over 30 years, so we will use our expertise to help your company or find your next worker.