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How to assess risks in your manufacturing plant



There are safety risks in any line of work.But of course the field of manufacturing is generally considered more dangerous than most because of the volatility of some of the machinery and materials that are used and the increased severity that a manufacturing injury could produce.In some cases the lives of your employees are at stake as you determine how you will assess risk in order to minimize it in your manufacturing plant.


The government regulates risks in manufacturing plants to a degree.In recent years new concepts regarding safety levels have been introduced.One such safety level for manufacturers is called a Safety Integrity Level.A Safety Integrity Level is a statistical representation of the reliability of a safety instrument for a manufacturing process.A great deal can be learned regarding the assessment of risks by looking into what factors are considered in this safety level measurement that is specific to manufacturing plants.Below you will find a brief explanation of some of the tools that you will need in order to assess and minimize risk in your manufacturing plant.

How to assess and minimize risks in your manufacturing plant

  1. Life-long learning- One of the most important keys to assessing and managing risk factor is to learn from mistakes and make a continued effort to understand and renew understandings of the security and safety standards that exist for your industry.Have a cyclical review of the safety steps that your company takes.Review the application of safety procedures.If necessary begin a risk reduction process to make changes.
  2. Determine and acceptable level of risk- To have no risk in a manufacturing plant is virtually impossible.The nature of the work mandates a small amount of risk in order to be productive and to get the job done.As one responsible for assessing risks, you need to decide how much risk is acceptable given a set period of time.The less risk you deem as acceptable the stricter your risk reduction safety measures will need to be.
  3. Assess all aspects of the plant- Risk reduction entails the assessment of more than just safe practices by employees.A device, machine, and even the plant building itself need to be assessed for safety risks.Make sure to run diagnostic checks on the non-human elements of your plant that may not need human interaction to become safety risks.Have an emergency shut off valve in place and train employees in evacuation plans.
  4. The application of safety - The assessment of risks and plans for increased safety are insignificant if the application of safety rules is not enforced.Safety procedures should be written and displayed around your plant floor.Regular training and reminder meetings are necessary in order to keep safety at the forefront of everyone's mind.If a safety issue requires the expenditure of resources make sure that the process of allocating those resources is speedy.When a new safety issue is realized, make minimizing the risk a priority.Many companies have trouble when it comes to managing their risk not because they do not know what those risks are or how to minimize them, but because they are careless, forgetful and in some cases even see themselves as too smart or strong to be at risk.Offer training and re-examine risk whenever there's a change in person (as in management or new employee hires), process, equipment, or in the regulations set forth by government or industry.


The assessment of risks and establishment of strict security and safety rules is not meant to hinder your plants ability to manufacture efficiently.In fact the goals of assessing risk do quite the opposite.When safety is managed, your plant has the freedom to be safe and more practical in operational practices.

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