While regular inspections are mandatory by law in order to ensure a safe workplace, it’s best for your business, your machines, and your workers when you go above the basic requirements and take steps for daily safety monitoring on the shop floor. This form of housecleaning not only prevents injuries but can also increase morale while improving productivity among workers. There are many ways to ensure a safe working environment, and here are just four to get you started.
Daily and Weekly Housekeeping
It is essential that each worker take responsibility for the cleanliness and safety of their work area after each shift. The area should be inspected and cleaned of any unused materials, with all other items properly stored away for the next shift. This form of light housekeeping not only prevents clutter from building up between shifts, but it also allows the workers to examine the machinery they used and notice any immediate issues before passing it on to the next person. Another important aspect of floor is performing a deep, weekly clean. This will help to eliminate anything overlooked during the daily clean-ups and catch any more subtle problems. This also prevents buildup from settling over the weekend while the machines are not in use.
Monitor Heat and Pressure
When industrial equipment involves boilers and compressed gasses, there is a lot of potential for accidents to occur. These can be averted, however, when there is proper monitoring of the heat and pressure. While most of these machines already come with dials that visually display when a machine is overheating or the pressure is becoming too intense, it’s better to invest in digital monitoring devices that can precisely display gauge readings beyond just a simple color range of green, yellow, and red. Modern pressure gauges can also come with programmable displays that give alerts when readings get too far beyond a specified range, keeping you informed long before a problem is able to develop into a critical stage.
Using infrared technology can help you continually check for signs of stress and overheating in your machines. Thermal cameras, more than just a typical heat or pressure gauge, can visually display precisely where centers of heat are. In the case of buildup or clogging in a machine this can help you identify and treat the problem quickly. This also gives you continued visual assurance of the state of your machines without having to wait for your mandatory inspections to be conducted. These units can be used to check electrical systems for hazards, showing heat release from frayed or otherwise compromised wiring.
Having proper storage areas for work-related items and products is important. A cluttered work station could potentially lead to damage to the machinery or even to your employees. Industrial bins, drawers, and cabinets should be provided for the safe storage of smaller objects and materials, and everything should be labeled and stored like with like. This allows you to quickly see everything you have and what you need more of. All storage should also be organized in a way that is easy to access without forcing employees to bottleneck into a small area and leaves plenty of open space for foot traffic. Doing this will make it easier for your employees to keep a clean environment as well as allow for easy tracking of essential parts and materials.
These are just a few of the steps that can be taken in the workplace to ensure safety between inspections. While maintaining the work environment can greatly reduce the number of work-related accidents, it can also ensure that problems are caught long before they escalate.