Factories can be a dangerous working place for workers. Too much hazardous equipment, chemicals, and a lack of protective gear can make the environment unstable. When workers get sent to these sites without any planning and assessment, it doesn’t take long for an accident to happen.
This is why factory owners and health and safety regulating bodies should thoroughly evaluate different factories. These can help set a benchmark for best practices in what a suitable factory unit should look like. So here’s how an assessment can get conducted:
1. Analyze The Condition Of The Building
Hazards are anything that can hurt the workers. These can range from the faults within the building to the products a factory uses. It is essential to investigate if the factory is in good shape. It needs renovations if it has too many structural deteriorations, such as visible wires, ceiling cracks, and rusted pipes.
The factory structure is the most critical risk factor, while damaged buildings should never operate since they can become fatal fast. When structural damages can fester further, they begin to crumble and collapse. The lighting situation also needs addressing, as a factory needs to be well lit; dim lighting can make it difficult to see and cause an accident.
2. Check For Labels On Chemical Products
Factories work with chemicals, and each of these has different properties and can harm the worker in various ways. Despite how useful they are, Illegal products need immediate removal from the vicinity.
A prime example is asbestos-related products. While asbestos has many uses, it is also the leading cause of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. Cancer has no cure, yet preventive measures such as chemotherapy and surgeries are offered to the patient depending on the severity. Moreover, not only is it a fatal disease but also extremely expensive.
Chemicals also have a way of getting stored and must be kept in plastic drums. Label these chemicals according to their properties and guidelines on safety equipment to wear while handling them. The labels should also include managing the chemical and storing it with clear instructions.
3. Take Note of Helpful Machinery
Workers should never be allowed to lift heavy objects without assistance. These can lead to different injuries, including risking their physical well-being. It can also become troublesome for them to balance the thing and walk across the slipper factory, flooding causing them to slip.
There needs to be working aid present on the site that allows these workers to do without injuring them. These include forklifts and wagons that can carry heavy products without requiring workers to exert themselves.
4. Determine Who Is Most Likely To Get Harmed The Most
Workers come in all genders, ages, heights, and physical strengths. Some of them are more prone to accidents than others. The workers who can get injured most easily should follow protocols that can help them be safe. Suppose there are disabled workers in the vicinity. In that case, the building needs to accommodate their needs.
The division of tasks should take into account what each worker can handle. If the worker is older and fragile, they can handle the paperwork. Improper distribution of work without caring for workers’ safety can make the environment dangerous.
5. Figure Out Mental Health Considerations
Workers can get tired and mentally exhausted. The workload can also get too much to handle, which affects them. Factory owners cannot ignore if a worker is mentally struggling. It makes them more reckless, prone to injuries, and causes them to disengage the workflow.
Therefore, there must be help present at the workplace. There needs to be space for workers to take a nap and the liberty to ask for flexible schedules. If the worker shows signs of depression and anxiety, they should get referred to a therapist and a doctor on paid leave.
Workers avoid going to the hospital because they’re expensive, and they may face a deduction in their salary. When owners keep compensations in place, it encourages workers to get help.
6. Provide Protective Gears With Regular Replacements
Factory workers need protective gear while they work on their projects. The temperature of some of the products and the necessary chemicals required can expose workers to numerous hazards. These hazards can cause injuries like burns to cause cancer or sick people from inhaling fumes needlessly.
It will help if gears are available to use whenever workers need to. However, providing equipment is also not enough. Workers who ignore safety equipment may face fatal injuries that could have been avoided. The equipment also needs to undergo annual inspections to ensure that it is still in usable conditions or frayed from continued usage.
7. Establish An Emergency Protocol
Factories can have an emergency at any given moment. When numerous chemicals and machines are in one place, they can always spill over or crash into each other. There needs to be a first aid kit available focusing on common factory injuries such as burns, severed limbs, and cuts and scrapes. Fire extinguishers and sand buckets should be inaccessible and spread throughout the factory to ensure in case of fire. The workers have the tools at hand to protect themselves.
Emergency exits should be in more than one position. They shouldn’t be hidden within the factory corridors and have clear neon signs to help workers escape. Emergency also includes fights and violence that can break out within workers.
Security present on the scene should know how to calm the situation and prevent mobs from occurring. They should know how to break apart fights. During intense anger, workers may resort to using equipment as weapons and, in extreme cases, throwing harmful chemicals, which is why it’s important to restore control.
8. Document Workplace Conditions and Propose Solutions
After a successful assessment, the workplace needs to get documented. All violations, health code hazards, and lack of safety for workers need to get submitted. Employers should also visit the factory often and study the document to understand their lack. They can even talk to the workers to understand their complaints from their work environment.
When demands get put forward, it can help employees work on solutions. They may invest more in protecting workers than focusing on productivity alone. They may work out a proper working schedule to balance their work and home life. The solution will depend on the problem proposed. As long as they get tackled on the scene, it minimizes workers’ health risks.
Factories can have hazardous environments if there are no protocols in place. Common hazards include exposure to chemicals, workplace injuries, and lack of mental health awareness. This is why assessing the vicinity can help employers fix their mistakes and look after their workers well.
When these factors continue piling up, workers may continue getting injured, resulting in fatality for them. So with a proper inspection, factories can have appropriate standards of care, which can help workers do their job safely.