When considering health and safety hazards in an industrial environment, it’s important to think about what the hazards are, who they will affect and what you can do to manage risk in the most meaningful and practical way. The safety of staff and customers is paramount in establishing a profitable and sustainable business.
Working around machinery can be potentially hazardous as staff and others risk serious injury if they come into contact with moving parts of machinery. It is vital that all machinery guards are in optimum condition and that your staff are adequately trained to operate their machines. Employees should also be trained to know what to do if something goes wrong and to immediately report any damage to machinery.
Staff are at risk of potential shocks and burns from faulty electrical equipment, so all systems must be installed by a fully-qualified electrician. Electrics should be protected against water ingress and regular safety checks conducted. Staff must report any defective equipment immediately so it can be removed from use.
Staff may suffer serious or fatal injuries if struck by a vehicle. All staff operating vehicles including vans and forklift trucks must be trained by a competent person and all vehicles must be maintained and inspected according to instructions from the manufacturer. Even if time is tight, staff must always wear seat belts and have high-visibility vests available for wear if they are working in a zone where vehicles are coming in or out. Strict speed limits can also be introduced in industrial areas.
Working at Height
Falls from any height can cause serious injury to staff, so all ladders must be used safely. If possible, competent contractors should be hired to do building maintenance and repairs. Guidelines on stepladder safety and official working at height regulations can be easily obtained online.
If your business involves working with chemicals, with medical supplies, food production, the production of animal feed or extractables/leechables, it is advised that you seek the guidance of a toxicology service. Choose a firm that offers objective opinions and that will critically appraise an existing toxicology report that you may have commissioned. If you need help with preparing dossiers for the relevant regulatory bodies, look for a firm that specialises in this, like Bibra Toxicology Advice & Consulting. Your toxicology service should also help you interpret existing regulations so your business doesn’t fall foul of any important guidelines. Staff can risk skin problems from contact with chemicals and must be adequately trained in the safe handling of chemicals using the right protective equipment.