General manufacturing safety

review & checklist

Blog » General manufacturing safety review & checklist

Manufacturing hazard control

Manufacturing-related hazards are controlled by carefully considering the manufacturing environment and by following manufacturing safety procedures. Below are factors that should be considered when reviewing safety in a manufacturing facility.

Securing the manufacturing environment

The Life Safety Code (National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101) covers specific requirements for stairways, exits, and doors. 

  • Handrails for stairs are required to be located 30 to 34 inches above the tread surface.
  • Doors that open onto a passageway pose a hazard to oncoming traffic. Guardrails can be used to minimize that hazard, or the floor can be painted to mark the swing area. 
  • Exits should be unobstructed and well illuminated. Emergency lighting is required for exit hallways or paths. Inadequate illumination caused by glare or shadows which interfere with vision can contribute to accidents.
  • Illumination levels should be consistent to reduce visual fatigue created when one moves from bright surroundings into dark ones. The manufacturing layout should not require employees to face windows, unshielded lamps, or other sources of glare. 

Hazards from electrical equipment can be reduced by:

  • Arranging electrical extension cords to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Installing proper receptacles.
  • Electrical extension cords should not be used as a substitute for permanent wiring. 
  • Place a label on each fuse or circuit breaker switch and a corresponding label on each receptacle and light switch. That practice will reduce the time needed to identify a specific fuse or circuit breaker when there is a need to turn it off. 

Hazards on the manufacturing floor can be reduced by:

  • Floor surfaces should have a slip-resistant finish. Tripping hazards can be minimized by immediately replacing defective tiles and carpet or worn floor mats. Slip-resistant floor wax can give polished floors a higher coefficient of friction. 
  • Floor mats and runners offer more slip-resistant protection for stairways or lobby entrances. Offices should have an area specifically designed for storing supplies.
  • Materials should be neatly stacked in stable piles with the heaviest pieces on the bottom. Manufacturing equipment should not be placed on the edge of a table or desk.
  • The most common manufacturing accident is falling. Slips, trips, and falls can result from poor housekeeping such as wet surfaces, electrical cords improperly placed, and trash obstructed walkways.

Manufacturing safety procedures

Following safe work procedures in manufacturing can prevent many accidents. 

  • Running in offices must be prohibited. Those walking in a passageway should keep to the right. Employees should stand away from the path of the door swing. 
  • Employees should not attempt to carry stacks of materials that are high enough to obstruct vision. If an elevator is available, it should be used instead of carrying stacks of material up flights of stairs.
  • Spilled liquids should be cleaned up immediately, and broken glass should be removed when first noticed. be used with care. 
  • Other unsafe manufacturing procedures include storing pencils with the points upward, placing scissors or knives with the point toward the user, using paper cutters without proper guards, and placing glass objects on a desk or table edge.