Metal Fabricators Guide to Improving Safety in the Work Place

No matter what you do for a living, safety in the workplace is always extremely important, especially in industries where you are working with heavy-duty machinery, such as metal fabrication shops and factories. Making sure employees working with these machines are trained, well managed and aware of their surroundings can reduce the risks of accidents in the workplace. Below is some information on staying safe in the metal fabrication industry.

Injuries…They Happen

The first thing that a person should understand when working at a metal fabrication shop is that the machines used in the shop are not toys. Injuries are more likely to occur if you are not well trained to use the equipment or are simply not being aware. While major injuries rarely occur, the most common type of injury is what we like to call “pinch point injuries,” that involve the fingers or hand. Most of the time, these injuries occur due to employees not giving their full attention to the task at hand. Always pay attention, no matter what.

So How Do I Avoid Sustaining An Injury?

From the employee’s perspective, make sure that you are well rested for the work day ahead. This will help you stay focused when working with machines and decrease your chances of injuring yourself. Another tip for any employee is to make sure you are trained proficiently when operating machines. It is crucial to pay attention during training because your managers will go over safety practices as well as how to use the machine. If you don’t pay attention, you are at a higher risk of injury. Neither you nor your employer wants that type of risk on the clock. Again, always pay attention, no matter what.

As a manager, you need to be able to identify employees who aren’t focused or look like they are exhausted. This increases the chance for injury, so don’t be afraid to send someone home if they are not performing up to par with safety procedures and production quota. Another thing to strongly consider implementing is random drug testing. You don’t want employees who work with machines that can cause serious injury under the influence while on the job.

The Effects of Employee Morale After an Injury

Keeping employee morale high after an injury is important because you don’t want employees second-guessing themselves. Working in a metal fabrication shop can be dangerous when not done right, so following an injury it may be a good idea to go over some safety procedures so they are fresh in employees minds. Having people in your company who understand the importance of safety in a shop is great because they will influence others who may overlook safety at times.

Machines Change, Safety Procedures Don’t

As technology has gotten better, machines used in the metal fabrication industry have drastically improved. While there may be tweaks to safety procedures, there really hasn’t been any drastic change. Being trained with safety first as the mindset will help make sure no incidences occur regardless of how old the machine you are working on is.

Written by Mack Hils, owner of Mack Hils Metal Fabrication.

Have an appropriate Industrial First Aid Kit in your machine shop.

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