manufacturing articles business management businesses Marketing sales Technology Business finance Lean Manufacturing small business Investing articles employee health

How clean work areas mean safer manufacturing

A clean work area is crucial to a safe work environment, particularly in a manufacturing environment.Safety is ultimately the responsibility of each individual in any work environment, however should be managed at a line management level to ensure an overall standard throughout the workplace.

In a manufacturing environment, there are many structured and calibrated systems and employees in motion at all times, including complicated machinery.In order for production flow to occur efficiently and personnel to operate smoothly and without injury it is important to keep debris, clutter, and distractions out of the picture as well as educating personnel on awareness of the environment.

For example, employees need to be aware of the overall surroundings to include things like moving machinery, forklifts in operation, hazardous conditions, unsafe acts by other personnel, keeping walkways clear of obstructions, keeping food out of the work areas, and so on.Many industries incorporate safety training meetings routinely for employees to keep them aware and educated at all times, it is easy to slip into a routine and lose sight of obvious hazards in everyday surroundings.

There are several hazards that can exist in a manufacturing environment that can potentially cause injury to personnel and loss of production:
- Clutter in walkways or around machinery
- Food in work areas, drawing insects and small animals
- Electrical hazards such as incorrect wiring or overloaded outlets
- Cluttered areas making forklift or machinery operation difficult
- Unbalanced or unorganized loads and/or inventory pallets
- Debris that may fall into machinery, shutting down production or causing injury to employees
Organized and neat work areas are an important part of a "clean" work area and become the responsibility of every individual in the workplace.Manufacturing environments in particular must maintain an overall clean and organized work area due to the nature of operation and will require the education, awareness, and participation of each employee to make that happen.

However, there must be training and a policy in place to maintain that standard.Can we place blame on an injured employee if they were never trained on what standards exist and what hazards to be aware of?Employers should not assume everyone thinks on the same level or in the same way, and each employee comes from a different background where certain conditions were never a factor.

Yes, much of this concept is or should be common sense but human nature doesn't ensure every individual possesses common sense!Not to mention, everyone has their own idea of what "clean" is by their own standards which is often not quite the same as the workplace standard, therefore a training and awareness program must be in place to ensure an overall standard is understood by all employees.

In a manufacturing environment a clean work area can be any or all of the following:
- Clear/unobstructed production lines
- Clear, wide walkways for personnel and machinery to move
- Individual work areas free of garbage or debris
- Organized and neat areas for stock and inventory
- Shop floor free of any food or drink products
- Clearly marked potential hazards
- Available hand / eyewash stations in place
- Spills and messes will be immediately marked and cleaned up
If work and shop areas remain clean, the production line will run smoother and potential injuries can be avoided.For example, if an accident happens such as a spill of any kind, it must be marked and cleaned immediately to avoid someone slipping, falling, or tripping.

Some ways to ensure a work area stays clean might be to reserve a certain amount of time at the end of a shift for shop cleanup where everyone covers a certain area and a brief inspection of the area is done before personnel are released and to have line or shift leaders do routine walks around the shop floor, production areas and individual work areas to ensure a clean and safe environment is maintained at all times.

FREE: Get More Leads!
How To Get More LeadsSubscribe to our free newsletter and get our "How To Get More Leads" course free via email. Just enter your first name and email address below to subscribe.
First Name *
Email *

Get More Business Info
Sponsored Links
Recent Articles


Copyright 2003-2020 by - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy, Terms of Use