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When you’re in charge of a manufacturing plant, the last thing you want to worry about is the safety of your employees. Ideally, every piece of machinery and all members of your staff should work together perfectly with nothing to interrupt them. However, it’s impossible to prevent all mistakes, broken equipment, and emergencies from happening.

Instead, focus on keeping your staff safe in the face of danger by considering these tips for improving employee safety at a manufacturing plant. Also, make sure that your teams have the tools they need to circumvent perilous situations.

Educate Employees With Thorough Training and Refreshers

Employee safety begins with the way that you train your new hires. It may seem obvious but informing your workers about the equipment that they’ll be using, how to handle an emergency, and what to do when they notice something is wrong will go a long way in keeping others safe.

Not only should new employees receive a detailed breakdown, but your seasoned employees should also take refresher courses to ensure they’re retaining the information they learned during their initial training. An easy way to help your workers remember the most important lessons is to provide them with a printed packet of all pertinent company information.

Maintain a Modern Surveillance System

Video surveillance is more than just a tool for after-hours security—it’s an essential tool for managing employee safety during work hours, too. If you haven’t already, keep your surveillance system up to date and use it to look for out of place individuals and failing machinery. Knowing how to use video surveillance in manufacturing will help you catch problems before they happen and before they endanger any of your workers.

Encourage Early Reporting

Meekness is an insidious force that can destroy efficiency without anyone knowing—especially among new hires. It’s important for floor managers to be a resource for new workers so that they feel comfortable asking questions; if a manager seems closed off, employees may not report potential dangers.

The sooner an employee reports a potential problem, the less likely it is to develop into something much worse. If necessary, consider providing workers with an anonymous tip box for more embarrassing issues around the plant.

Remind Workers To Use PPE

While wearing PPE is an important tip for improving employee safety at a manufacturing plant, some of your experienced workers may think that they’re beyond needing to wear their mandatory protective equipment. Give your staff gentle reminders to always wear their safety gear to avoid endangering themselves. It’s better for them to be slightly uncomfortable than to injure themselves on the job due to their own stubbornness.

As the administrator of the factory, make sure that your metaphorical door is always open to comments, questions, and concerns. Your employees may have an excellent suggestion for their own safety—all you need to do is listen.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.