June marks National Safety Month, an annual event that aims to raise awareness of the leading causes of injury and death at work and at home.
As the number of work-associated falls and deaths continues to rise, it’s become more important than ever to eliminate occupational hazards. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Americans suffered 5,190 fatal injuries related to work in 2016––up by 354 since 2015. In the same year, the BLS also reported 849 falls, slips, and trips reported in the workplace––up by 49 from 2015.
As part of National Safety Month, Astro Machine is sharing some of the practices that we use in our facility to protect our employees. We hope that others will follow our lead and adopt similar measures––ensuring that manufacturers in every industry are protecting their most valuable asset.
Top 5 Safety Tips from Astro
1. Wear safety equipment. Be sure you’re wearing the right protective gear, which includes safety glasses to protect your eyes, and ear muffs or ear plugs to protect your hearing. Always wear closed-toe shoes with good traction, and gloves to protect your hands when handling materials.
2. Use machines properly. Make sure that you’re using equipment only as intended and that you follow all instructions, guidelines, and procedures. If you’re unsure about how to operate a piece of equipment, ask an experienced user to help you. It’s also important to schedule regular maintenance and perform routine checks to ensure that all equipment continues to run smoothly.
3. Keep emergency exits easily accessible. In case of a fire or a similar emergency, it’s imperative that all personnel have access to the designated emergency exit. To keep the exit accessible, make sure that it’s clearly marked and remove any equipment or furniture that might be blocking it. Keeping all paths to the emergency exit clear will further ensure that a quick and effective escape is always possible.
4. Report unsafe conditions. Whether it’s a leaking pipe or a possible source of contamination, report any issues to a supervisor or facility manager immediately. The best way to prevent an accident from happening is to correct a potential risk as soon as possible. Chances are, you might be the first to notice the problem, and your supervisor might not even realize that there is an issue because he/she uses the equipment in question infrequently. Reporting any potential hazards right away will help protect both you and your coworkers in the long run.
5. Avoid trips, slips, and falls. Keep walkways free of any items that could potentially cause someone to stumble such as stray equipment or clothing. It’s also important to clean up any spills or slippery substances that may end up on the floor right away, as they’re one of the leading causes of falls in the workplace. In addition, these areas should be marked with a caution sign until the spill has been completely cleaned up and dried. Other falling hazards include debris in an aisle, a loose floorboard, a cracked tile, or any other uneven floor surface.
Safety at Astro Machine
As simple as these steps are, they can be easily forgotten if your workers are pushed to focus on saving time and increasing their output––even at the cost of their personal safety.
National Safety Month is the perfect time to reflect on the importance of workplace safety and renew your commitment to it. This year, the National Safety Council is focusing on a different topic each week of June to arm Americans with the knowledge they need to prevent injuries and deaths on the job. This year’s subjects include:
- Week 1: Emergency Preparedness
- Week 2: Wellness
- Week 3: Falls
- Week 4: Driving
While National Safety Month runs only through June, the National Safety Council works to promote workplace safety throughout the year by providing information, pamphlets, and posters to companies and their employees. This information can be found on their website.
At Astro, we proudly support the National Safety Council’s efforts to foster a safer and happier working environment for all Americans––not just in June, but all year long. We hope others in the manufacturing industry will join us in our efforts to protect workers from occupational hazards. To learn more about Astro Machine’s safety practices and tips, contact us today.