Working in manufacturing plants comes with its share of challenges, and the risks associated with this industry can pose significant threats to workers’ safety.
Understanding these risks is important for both employers and employees to create a safer working environment.
1. Machinery mishaps
Manufacturing plants have a myriad of machinery designed to streamline production. However, these machines can become potential hazards if not operated or maintained properly. Workers may be at risk of injuries such as amputations, crush injuries or fractures when dealing with heavy machinery.
2. Exposure to harmful substances
Another prevalent risk in manufacturing plants is exposure to hazardous substances. Chemicals, fumes and dust are part and parcel of the manufacturing process, but prolonged exposure without proper protective measures can lead to respiratory problems, skin irritations or long-term health issues.
3. Repetitive strain injuries
The repetitive nature of many manufacturing tasks puts workers at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders. Constantly performing the same motions can lead to strains, sprains, and other injuries. Assembly line workers, for example, may be susceptible to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive hand movements.
4. Falls and trips
Manufacturing plants often involve working at elevated platforms or around equipment with various protrusions. Inadequate safety measures, such as slippery floors or lack of guardrails, can result in falls and trips. These incidents can lead to fractures, concussions or other serious injuries.
5. Inadequate training and communication
Insufficient training and communication about safety procedures can amplify the risks in manufacturing plants. Workers need to be well-versed in operating machinery, handling hazardous materials and responding to emergencies.
Employers reported 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses in 2022. In the unfortunate event of a workplace injury, seeking workers’ compensation is an important step.