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Metals Manufacturing Employees Face Significant Risk of on-the-Job Injury

Thursday, November 5, 2015
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The numbers are hard to ignore and staggering to say the least. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, more than one hundred thousand manufacturing workers suffer an on-the-job injury each year, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenue.

If we put the direct economic impact aside, accidents can also serve to harm a company’s reputation as consumers generally want to support companies that care for their employees. As a business, it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure all employees stay safe and healthy while on, and off, the job. It is for this reason that many companies are working on better ways to identify vulnerabilities in metals manufacturing that can lead to injury.

Identifying Vulnerabilities

To identify potential problem areas it is a good idea to appoint an employee to serve as a “safety czar,” someone who will identify and prioritize worker safety needs and best practices. Some of the benefits a safety czar can offer include:

  • Conducting research on the most common injuries in each department;
  • Assessing each department for safety risks;
  • Documenting said risks;
  • Highlighting communication with employees that provide their perspective and insight on the risks they see each day;
  • Identifying potential solutions.

Besides the risk of potential acute injuries, it is also important to identify problems that can lead to long term injuries and chronic disabilities. A good example of this is the fact that musculoskeletal disorders are common among workers in the manufacturing industry and should be guarded against. Movements that could lead to physical issues in the future are just as risky as those that can lead to immediate injury today.

What to Do with the Assessment?

After completing the assessment, it is critical to prioritize risk mitigation. A good first step to solving these problems is by reaching out to industry researchers and leaders. With their influence and expertise, proposed changes in production could potentially decrease or mitigate risks. Sometimes it is necessary for companies to bring in outside help, such as instructors, for safety trainings and workshops.

The safety czar can also lead a team with members in each department who will continue risk assessments and further implement plans to mitigate potential problems. Our friends at Travelers have compiled additional helpful information you may find useful about avoiding injury in the manufacturing workplace. (In addition, this presentation from Travelers outlines the five key people-related risks facing metals manufacturers.)

 Time and Attention to Identify Risks

Being more hands-on and in constant communication with employees can help identify critical vulnerabilities. In doing so, companies can potentially take control of workplace injuries and decrease the number of personal injury incidents.

 

 

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your needs.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.

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