A factory is often considered to be a minefield for health and safety issues so it is important that as an employer you meet all of your health and safety obligations and alongside this implement as many of our top 10 health and safety must haves for a factory as possible.
For most factories the use of safety goggles or other protective eyewear is an absolute necessity in order to prevent any accidental damaging happening to the eyes. There is a variety of goggles available and it is important to choose the right goggles for the type of factory and the tasks which take place.
Breathing masks will prevent the inhalation of harmful dust and other such related particles which may be released into the air during the typical working day of a factory. Breathing such particles, especially for those with existing breathing issues may cause long term problems. There will be breathing masks appropriate for your particular working environment, they may just cover the nose and mouth or for the more dangerous tasks such as welding full face covering equipment may be required.
Steel Toe Capped Boots
As factories often work with heavy equipment and materials it is important to ensure that the clothing and apparatus which is used will protect you in the most effective manner. One area which is sometimes overlooked is the footwear! Protective footwear must be worn at all times and in most instances the best shoes and boots to wear are those that are fitted with steel toe caps. This means that if anything is dropped onto the top area of the shoes or boots or they become trapped under machinery there is a significant amount of protection available.
Emergency Stop Buttons
Machinery within a factory should be fitted with emergency stop buttons or a way in which the machinery can be turned off in an effective manner if there were ever an emergency. This generally simple requirement can stop a small situation escalating into something major and preventing any potential injury. There should be at least one complete shut off button and depending on the size of the factory several other signposted emergency stop buttons throughout.
Clear warning signs should be displayed around the factory wherever there are any potential risks or hazards to the health of the employees. These warnings can be in regards to procedures which need to be considered when operating machinery, irritant materials, the use of chemicals and other such issues throughout the factory environment. In addition clear fire exits should also be marked.
First Aid Box
It is important to have at least one first aid box, although potentially more depending on the size of the factory floor. The first aid box should contain all of the basic essentials that may be required in the case of an accident such as sterile, individually wrapped bandages, plasters, antiseptic wipes and ointment and other such products. In addition an accident book should be kept with the first aid box as it is important that all accident and workplace issues in regards to health and safety are kept on record.
Factories especially should place a significant level of importance on the availability of a trained first aid person. If an issue arises where immediate first aid is required such as CPR it is essential that someone who has been trained in such things is the one who is administering it to avoid any further risk to an employee’s health and safety.
Although the use of protective eyewear will prevent the need for an eyewash station accidents can still happen and it is imperative that you are prepared for all circumstances. There are some procedures taking place in a factory which would benefit from an eyewash station if an accident ever arose.
Factory Layout Plan
The location of the factory and its layout is an important consideration to be made for health and safety reasons especially when machinery is heavy and potentially dangerous. Clear exits need to be marked as well as ensuring there is enough factory floor space available to address any potential issues.
Training and Safety Awareness
Well trained and informed staff provide the basis of a safe working environment which will ultimately benefit everyone. Health and safety training and risk assessments should be carried out and all new staff should be shown how to operate all of the machinery and equipment in a safe manner by trained staff. Written health and safety procedures should be in place at all times so the staff have a reference point to go back to if required. In addition fire safety training should be given to all staff by a trained fire warden.
This article was written by http://www.lighthouseriskservices.co.uk/ a leading health and safety and employment law consultancy. For more infomation please visit their website