Safety Tips for Metalworking Facilities

Safety Tips for Metalworking Facilities
  • Opening Intro -

    There is a lot that can go wrong in metalworking facilities, and it frequently does.

    With 4.5 million metalworking injuries annually in the US, reviewing safety measures is always of value to those in this industry.

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Reducing this number starts in individual facilities, first with owners, then with workers. These safety tips for metalworking facilities will help owners begin to create strategies for improving safety in their own facilities.

Review Facility Policy and Training

As mentioned above, safety begins under the leadership of the owners and managers, and that starts with the culture enacted by a facility’s policies. Even if a policy follows the bare bones of OSHA, it’s possible for an individual facility’s policies to miss key practices that can reduce safety hazards.

For instance, the structure of a particular building may present certain hazards. OSHA would not have policies in place to cover this scenario. As managers, it’s a good idea to walk through the facility as an employee, noting areas of potential risk.

But even the best policy in the world will be rendered useless if the workers are not properly trained in it. Keep training consistent across the board, especially when it comes to safety training. And continue to offer additional safety training as new information and skills become available, or offer refresher courses as needed.

Proper PPE

Personal protective equipment is crucial for the safety of metalworking facilities. This is especially true for those working with hot metal, but it should also extend to those in situations without such obvious dangers.

Most facilities follow this rule, but many fall short by providing PPE that doesn’t fit or by not ensuring that employees wear it properly. This is problematic and can hinder mobility, inadvertently causing the very accidents that the PPE is designed to protect against. Gloves, masks, and similar PPE should be designed to fit the body snuggly while still offering a full range of motion.

Floor Organization

Even a well-trained workforce can still be harmed in a poorly designed facility. For instance, if machinery is placed so closely together that people and equipment cannot move safely in between them, accidents can occur.

These accidents can lead to injuries as well as damage to the surrounding property. Along with this, workspaces that are not organized based on the typical flow of walking traffic may be more prone to accidents, as can facilities that are cluttered. Consider placing signs to manage the flow of traffic and place trash cans at easily accessible points.

other valuable tips:

Use Deburring Techniques

There are also hazards that are built into the nature of the job itself. The metal ridges that crop up as the metal is being processed, for instance, can pose a risk to workers.

These ridges, called burrs, have the potential to cut the hands of workers, damage surrounding materials, and reduce the quality of the metal itself. That’s why the importance of metal deburring cannot be overstated. Investing in vibratory deburring machinery will protect your workers and your other metal materials.

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