Working in a factory definitely comes with some risks. While there are plenty of health and safety regulations to help ensure that companies have to do their best to ensure the safety of people working in their factories, dealing with machinery, parts and even just getting materials from warehouse facilities can pose risks.
For the most part, it is the responsibility of the employer to make an occupational working environment like a factory as non threatening to health and safety as possible, it is still important that people in jobs that involve working with machinery, going up ladders, or driving things like forklifts are aware of their own impact on health and safety – both for their own benefit and that of other workers around them.
Here, we look at some of the most common factory injuries, and how to make sure you avoid them when working in a factory role:
Nearly all kinds of manufacturing or production facilities have machines or implements for cutting materials – after all, to make anything you usually need to cut it to size. These can vary from manual guillotine type devices for cutting paper and card, through to more hi tech things like plasma cutters. Whether the machines you are working with are designed for cutting sausages, fabric for dresses or steel, they can still take off a finger or another piece of flesh and bone if you don’t use them in the proper way – this is one of the most common workplace injuries among people who work with sharp edged machinery.
To ensure your safety, never use machines that cut materials without having had the proper training. Also, use common sense – if something doesn’t seem right about your machine, for instance if something is loose, get it checked by a professional rather than trying to soldier on with your work – you may be being paid by the piece but still, it is worth losing some time rather than losing a finger!
Another thing that causes a large number of health and safety issues (and lawsuits) each year is people falling from ladders or stepladders at work. In a factory setting, you may need to scale ladders to retrieve materials or to place finished items in a warehouse. Make sure you understand ladder safety. Never use a stepladder without having three body parts in contact with it (this could be your feet and a hand, your feet and a knee, or your feet and part of your torso) as a general rule.
Lifting is a normal part of any kind of manual work, but can severely injure your back, legs and arms if you don’t do it right. Never lift with your back, and make sure you are properly trained before lifting crates or boxes for use in your factory.
Workplace injuries can often be avoided by having the right training, and paying good attention to your own surroundings and how your body feels. If something is too heavy, don’t try and lift it yourself. If a ladder doesn’t feel stable, it probably isn’t. Put the safety of yourself and those around you first when you are working.