Manufacturing workers produce an endless amount of consumer goods and products that keep our world turning. The equipment and tools manufacturing workers use to produce these goods and products come with a multitude of risks and hazards.
Beyond equipment hazards that can come with the manufacturing territory is ill-fitting or uncomfortable PPE. If PPE is cumbersome, workers are less likely to be compliant in wearing them when needed. Comfortable PPE helps to ensure workers are more likely to wear the proper personal protective equipment for the task at hand and reduce their risk to potential daily hazards.
Exposure to Electricity
Electrical hazards are a serious concern for manufacturing workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Association’s Hierarchy of Controls have specific protocols in place for workers to follow to avoid potentially fatal electrical incidents. PPE such as voltage rated gloves, flame resistant and arc rated clothing, and arc flash kits is the last line of defense and therefore should be worn or available to workers so that every precaution is taken to ensure safety.
Handling equipment with wires, electrical panels, other electrical machinery all come with exposure to high voltage electrical hazards. Participating in NFPA 70E training helps to educate manufacturing workers with OSHA standards for electrical safety in the workplace.
Rubber voltage gloves and especially flame resistant, arc rated gear should be worn when engaging in tasks where hazards are possible. Proper arc-rated clothing and task-based clothing such as arc flash kits provide necessary protection from injuries caused by electrical hazards in the event of exposure.
Struck by Incidents
In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 303 unfortunate work fatalities among manufacturing industry workers. Seventy-nine of those were deemed transportation-related due to being struck by an object or equipment. In almost any manufacturing plan or workplace, forklifts, tow-motors and other types motorized moving equipment is used to transport heavy materials around the workplace. In addition to proper training to operate this equipment, hi-vis workwear should be worn around transportation equipment. The increased visibility provided by hi-vis garments will assist in avoiding preventable accidents.
Manufacturing shops make use of motorized moving equipment to transport materials and other heavy items, which increases the risk of struck-by hazards. Some of these shops and plants may also have lighting in different areas, especially where materials are stored in large crates and on pallets.
Worker visibility is an important component of safety in these areas where forklifts, tow-motors, and other motorized equipment are being operated. While manufacturing workers may not face traditional visibility standards defined by ANSI 107, it is beneficial to implement wearing Type R (Roadway) hi-vis vests to provide workers around this motorized equipment with increased visibility that is paramount in preventing struck-by incidents.
Cold Handling and Chemicals
Liquid oxygen and nitrogen are very commonly used in manufacturing to produce important items like medical equipment and other industrial applications. The extreme temperatures of these liquids and objects require gloves and other cryogenic protective clothing that meet a varying amount of standards depending on the object or liquid being handled. The proper way to safely use these cold materials and chemicals is with correct cryo PPE. While PPE is a final barrier in avoiding these potential issues for manufacturing workers, PPE also plays a critical role to ensure workplace safety, prevent fatalities and injuries, and avoid fines or citations.
Liquid oxygen, nitrogen, and other preserving gasses and chemicals are used in manufacturing important medical supplies and have other key industrial applications. Handling these gasses and liquids without the use of cryogenic personal protective equipment isn’t possible. The risk of exposure can be prevented with Cryogenic gloves and other PPE.
Cut, Puncture, and Mechanical Injuries
From high powered machinery to handling tools, metal, glass and other sharp objects, manufacturing workers face a multitude of cut and mechanical hazards. For workers handling sharp objects and machinery, gloves and cut-protective clothing are essential for safety.
Implementing cut protection is an easy and necessary conclusion when working with sharp tools, carrying abrasive materials or working around equipment that could pierce or puncture. Keep in mind that cut protection doesn’t stop at just covering the hands. These objects could lead to a cut, abrasion or puncture anywhere on your body. Cut gloves, cut resistant jackets and other upper or lower body cut protective clothing provides safety from preventable injuries and incidents when using these tools and materials.
Whether on the job site, in a warehouse, or assembly line, manufacturing workers face a wide variety of daily hazards where PPE is needed for safety. NSA addresses the safety needs of the versatile and expansive manufacturing industry by providing PPE that is comfortable and compliant to your needs.
National Safety Apparel produces comfortable garments that meet evolving safety needs to help keep you and your workers compliant in hi-vis workwear, flame resistant / arc-rated clothing, cut protection, and cryogenic protection. We want to help ensure workers can get their job done safely and return home to their families day after day.