With an employment surge of 86,000 new workers in the past year alone, Australia’s manufacturing industry is the fastest growing sector right now, according to data gathered by the Business Insider. In addition to companies that focus on metal, machinery and chemical manufacturing, the sector also includes initiatives, such as aerospace development, automotive technologies, and commercial shipbuilding.
The current rate of expansion of manufacturing heightens the importance of safety practices that can protect workers. According to Safe Work Australia, among all industries, manufacturing has the 4th highest number of fatalities and 2nd highest number of serious injury claims. Given the employment surge, companies need to prioritise worker safety for safe operations and proper government compliance.
Safe work environments are results of proper risk identification and management practices. Given the nature of manufacturing work which deals with heavy machinery, substances and other occupational hazards, companies can implement practices like the following:
Comprehensive Training and Support Programmes for Workers
In sites that utilise forklifts, welders, thermoforming equipment and other heavy-duty tools, workers need proper training to minimise site accidents that happen due to equipment error or failure. This practice necessitates skills training whenever possible, to ensure that workers are not put in danger.
The government offers certifications and training packages for all kinds of manufacturing applications. Depending on the subdivision of the manufacturing industry, training programmes focus on site-specific aspects like proper substance handling and utilising the protective equipment.
Safety Precautions and Solutions in the Work Area
Manufacturing sites are susceptible to different safety hazards, ranging from common injuries caused by slips and trips to environmental conditions like heat and chemical exposure. Workers need the proper support equipment and safety solutions to help them work and navigate the site with minimal concern for accidents and similar circumstances.
For example, in sites that have metal platforms and walkways, constant foot traffic and occasional substance spillage can cause workers to slip and fall while navigating the area. Sites must add safety precautions, such as metal stair treads and nosings to reduce slippage on stair steps, and they can use mats to create slip-proof corridors that can enhance worker safety.
Constant Dialogue Between Workers and Management
The management is not the only group responsible for enacting safety duties in the workplace; officers, workers and other persons in the site need to be involved as well. A holistically safe work area requires a collaborative effort between different parties, where concerns and blind spots are brought in consultation with each other to arrive at solutions.
The Work Health and Safety Act of 2011 mandates that management has a duty to consult its workers regarding safety matters in site operations. Workers have a right to refuse work that seems unreasonable and unpractical in terms of safety, and they can bring up these concerns to management so that proper resolutions can be made.
Commitment to Safety and Welfare of Workers
At Australian Matting Company (AMCO), we provide matting and anti-slip solutions for manufacturing, mining, construction and other industries. Our expansive catalogue of industrial mats and other products help improve not only the safety of your workplace but also its performance and efficiency. With AMCO, you can ensure that your workplace is compliant to government safety regulations.
Commit to worker safety now. Call us on 1800 888 598.