4 Safety Tips That All Manufacturing Businesses Need To Know

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Finding and removing any dangers in the workplace is one of the most important parts of your role as a boss. It’s up to you to make sure that you’re following health and safety procedures properly so your employees are always safe while they’re working. In some businesses, that isn’t too difficult. An office setting, for example, doesn’t have too many dangers and it’s quite easy to stay on top of health and safety. But if you’re running a manufacturing business, there are a lot more potential hazards that you need to deal with.

If you don’t manage your health and safety properly and one of your employees ends up getting injured, you may find yourself in the middle of a very costly lawsuit. On top of that, you may lose a good employee for a while if they’re seriously injured. If the accident was a direct result of your lack of health and safety procedures, you might end up being fined for breaching the law as well. That’s why health and safety is so important, even if it can be a bit of a pain sometimes. If you’re running a manufacturing company and you find yourself struggling to deal with health and safety issues, here are some simple tips to help you along the way.

Training Is Key

You probably already know that training new staff properly so they know how to operate machinery safely is essential. But a lot of people don’t put enough time and resources into continued training for their existing staff members. This is important because people always slip into bad working practices after a while. A regular training session to refresh everybody’s memory once a year or so will ensure that everybody is always following procedure to the letter.

Sometimes, processes change or you might introduce a new piece of machinery. It’s important that you’re giving specific training sessions when those changes occur so your employees know exactly what they’re doing and how to perform their jobs safely.

Health And Safety Notices

Another simple way to make sure that people aren’t forgetting proper health and safety procedures is to put notices up around the workplace. Put some basic notices on or near all of the equipment with general guidelines about safe use. You also need to have signs reminding people of what protective gear they should be wearing while they work. That way, if one of your employees decides that they’re going to ignore any of the health and safety procedures and they get injured, you won’t be liable for it.

Good Flooring

When people think about accidents, they’re usually focused on malfunctions with machines causing injury. That is a big problem, of course, but don’t forget about the simpler injuries like slips and falls. Poorly maintained floors that have a slippery surface or have lots of cracks and dents increase the risk of trips and falls. That’s why you need a polished concrete floor in your warehouse and you need to make sure that it’s maintained properly so it maintains its non-slip properties. Properly polished concrete is also very hard wearing so it’ll be able to handle a lot of wear and tear without getting too damaged.

Be Careful With Second Hand Equipment

Manufacturing equipment is incredibly expensive but you can save yourself quite a lot of money if you buy second hand, however, you have to be very careful. There are plenty of great second hand machines out there that will do the job just as well as new ones would. But equally, there are a lot of damaged ones that are likely to be dangerous when you’re using them. Some of the older models won’t have anywhere near as many safety features on them either so, even if they’re in good condition, they could be dangerous.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy second hand machines at all, you just need to know exactly what you’re buying. Get some of your employees to look at the machine and test it to make sure that it’s all in good working order before you agree to buy it. You should also do some research into the safety features on the newer model compared with a second hand one and see whether it might be worth spending a bit more to get a new one. Finally, you should always make sure that you’re buying it from a reputable supplier.

If you stick to these rules, you can make sure that your manufacturing company is always following health and safety procedure to the letter.

 

Let’s Talk About Personal Development

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Let’s talk about personal development. What is it and how can it help you?

Personal development is the process of looking at your skills, your core beliefs, your qualities and how you can improve them and use them to best reach your potential. If you are a freelancer, the chances are you have already put some time and effort into what makes you tick and the path that you want your career to take. But, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for more of that good stuff.

Personal development actually starts very early in life. It begins with our experiences within our family unit, and eventually extends to school life and our first relationships and so on. Sometimes when people finish education, be that college or university, they find a job and stop learning more about themselves, or stop trying to improve.

Why is it important? Well, Maslow (1970), suggested that everyone has a need for personal development that is built in. It actually appears in a table called the Hierarchy of Needs.

How to Get Started

Think about what your vision is. While personal development can just be a fun addition to your life, for others it can be a fulfilling and enlightening process that helps you find a new purpose, and greater motivation for everyday life. Having a clear idea of where you want to be in the future is essential. Sit down and write a plan, think about where you are now, where you want to be and the steps you’ll need to take in both your personal and working life.

Actively look for blogs, books, and speakers like kevinabdulrahman.org.

A few things which can really help are performing a Personal SWOT analysis, taking the time to think about what you feel are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Be as honest as you can when you do this, it might be tempting to write, for example, that you are fluent in French, but what you mean is, you have basic conversational French ability. Honesty is key.

Knowing how you learn, can help you learn faster and more efficiently. There are a few methods that you might like to use to work out your learning style. However, Peter Honey and Alan Mumford proposed the following styles:

Pragmatist – Does it work? Does it have a practical application?

Reflector – Think it through. They like time to consider things thoroughly.

Theorist – Does this fit? They like things to fit with their knowledge framework.

Activists – Let’s get stuck in. They learn by doing.

Work out which one you are, and learn to work in a way that fits with it.

Write it all down. Make notes, keep track of your progress and pay attention to what is working and what isn’t. Making a record of your success and development will encourage you to keep growing. You might even like to create a learning log, where you can reflect when things get a little tricky.

Review and revise. Real personal development is unlikely to be a smooth path. Taking stock every once in a while will ensure you stay on track and motivated.

Protecting Your Staff

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When you start your own small business, there is a lot that you need to think about. You’ll be worried about boosting sales, defining your marketing strategy, finding your audience, scouting out the competition and recruiting and training staff. One thing that many small business owners neglect, is looking after those staff once they’ve been hired.

This is a mistake. Failing to look after your staff can mean that turnover is high, they’re not motivated to work to their best, that they don’t enjoy their jobs and it can even mean that you are open to lawsuits.

There are many ways to look after your team. You need to offer them flexible working and comfortable working conditions. You need to look after their emotional needs and make sure that they are treated fairly and with consideration. You have to protect them from any bias and workplace discrimination, and you need to protect them from injury and illness. It’s a lot to take on but offering your staff the correct protection can mean that they can do their jobs better, they are happier, they take less time off sick, and they work for you for a lot longer, allowing them to build their skills and become better at their jobs. It’s good for them, and it’s good for you.

Train Them

The first thing that you can do to protect your staff is offering them the training that they need to do their job safely, without endangering themselves and others. Don’t just give them a quick walkthrough and then throw them in. Spend time on a thorough training program, and buddy them up with a more experienced member of staff for a while before letting them work unsupervised. Then, offer extra training to anyone that needs it, and when anything changes.

The training program that you offer depends on the nature and specifics of your business. But, it should be in-depth, covering every area and not just the tasks they’ll be responsible for day to day.

Perform Risk Assessments

A crucial part of protecting your staff is knowing what it is they need protecting from. Performing regular, and adequate risk assessments gives you a chance to assess the environment of your workplace. To spot things that could be a risk to the health and safety of your staff, and to find ways to minimize that risk with training, avoidance, equipment, and precaution.

Make sure you do different risk assessments for groups like pregnant women, disabled staff and anyone else who might be at a higher risk, as your work environment may pose them different threats. Once completed, keep a record of these risk assessments, the findings and any changes that you have made to reduce risks, should you need them in the future.

Provide them with the Tools they Need

Training is the first tool that your employees need to keep themselves safe. Risk assessments are a tool for you to keep them safe. Then, there’s the industrial safety gear that your staff needs to do their jobs to the best of their ability without injury or accident. Don’t scrimp on this. Pay what you need to get it right, to keep your staff from getting hurt while they do their jobs.

Then, regularly take the time to check this gear, to make sure it’s still in good condition and working well. Replace it when it needs it, checking the market for updates and improvements before making your purchase.

Look After Machinery

Safety gear isn’t the only thing that you need to keep your team safe. You also need to make sure that any machinery and equipment that they use is safe, effective and free from danger. Check the basics yourself every day, install a cleaning and maintenance checklist to keep everything working well and have machines and equipment serviced regularly and repaired and replaced as needed.

Keep an Open Door

A crucial element of health and safety is communication. Your staff needs to be able to come to you if they have a problem, if they are ill or hurt, or if they are worried about their safety. They need to feel comfortable coming to you if they need to take time off, or if they are concerned about how the workplace is affecting your health. You also need them to come to you if they notice a problem with machinery, equipment or other staff, that needs addressing. So, make sure your workplace has an open-door policy. Encourage open communication and honest on the shop floor, and you’ll always know what’s going on.