Government & Law

Putting Safety Over Speed

When you’re running a factory, there are a lot of ways that people can get injured. Between exposure to hazardous chemicals and contact with quickly moving machines, safety must be a priority for you and your employees. Take these steps today to increase your workplace safety and productivity.

Learn About Workers Compensation

When your employees get hurt at work, Iowa Workers Compensation law ensures that they’re able to pay for their medical bills. If you don’t have Workers Compensation insurance, you may be responsible for the bulk of your employees’ costs. For example, if a worker breaks an arm because you didn’t properly maintain a machine and you’re not insured, the costs of his or her emergency room visit and physical therapy fall on you. Talk to your insurance company today about getting Workers Compensation insurance, and work with your legal team to determine what injuries are covered in your state.

Review Machine Operation Procedures

Once your employees are used to operating certain machines, they stop thinking so much about safety and start taking shortcuts. For your machines that rely on hazardous fuels or materials, this is a sure way for more accidents to happen. Every month, hold a thorough review of machine operation procedures for all your employees, from the newest hires to your veteran workers. Dig out each machine’s user manual and review the proper steps for fueling, filling, starting, and stopping it. Don’t forget to mention safety mechanisms, overheating overrides, and other complicated parts. Consider giving your employees quizzes to make sure that they’ve retained your information.

Require PPE

Personal protective equipment keeps your employees safe when they’re working in dangerous conditions. If they’re working on ladders or forklifts or if they’re working below someone else, they must wear hardhats. If they’re using dangerous chemicals, cutting wood, or dealing with machines that project dust and debris, safety goggles are a must. For corrosive substances, gloves, face masks, and gowns prevent spills from turning into emergency room visits. Include plenty of extra PPE at the entrance to each work station, and set a good example by wearing the right protective gear whenever you enter a hazardous environment. 

For your factory to stay safe and make a profit, you must put safety ahead of speed or convenience. Implementing these actions may not be popular, especially if you’ve been relaxed about safety guidelines, but it does reduce your chances of emergency room visits.

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