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Safety Advice for Lone Workers in the Manufacturing Sector

1 March 2018
 March 1, 2018

Manufacturing is one of the most widespread industry sectors in Britain. According to the Health & Safety Executives (HSE), the sector employs an estimated 2.5m staff within the UK.  The industry is extremely widespread, with its nature of producing goods, different industries can include the production of food, drink, furniture, electronics, plastics, paper and many more.  

HSE figures have revealed that between 2012-17, there were on average 22 reported deaths of those working within the UK’s manufacturing sector. There were also more than 3,100 reports of major injuries and approximately 4,100 reports of injuries that kept workers away from work for seven days or more.

One recent case reported to the HSE involved a member of staff at a manufacturing firm getting the sleeve of their coat stuck in a food mixer. With the force of the machine the employee got dragged in which resulted in broken ribs, a collapsed lung and large blood clots.

Another real-life case involved a worker at a plastic manufacturing firm suffering life threatening injuries. After being instructed to check the temperature of a moving rubber roller by a senior member of staff, the employee’s hand became trapped, resulting in injuries so severe that it required amputation.

With the tightening of Health and Safety legislation in recent years, firms simply cannot afford for their workers to be at risk. Not only does this type of misfortune lead to physical injury to the victims involved, firms are having to pay out crippling fines for accidents that happen within their working environment. Serious instances have even led to court cases and prosecution.

We’ve put together some safety tips on how accidents within this sector can be prevented:

Be careful when using equipment – Misusing tools and machinery is the most prevalent cause of workplace injuries. When using equipment, ensure you are using each piece of equipment for its intended purpose. You should also regularly clean and inspect equipment to ensure that it is safe.

Wear the correct clothing – A high number of workplace accidents occur due to not wearing the appropriate clothing. When working around machinery, ensure you wear protective, durable clothing. Avoid wearing anything that could get caught, wearing protective glasses is also a must.

Keep work and emergency areas clear – Make sure to remove any clutter blocking emergency exits and areas that you are working in. A cluttered work area can lead to not having enough space to use tools and pick up heavy objects properly.  Furthermore, if an exit is obstructed, you may not be able to quickly escape if an emergency occurs.

Take breaks – Many work-related injuries occur when a worker is tired and cannot adequately observe dangers in their surroundings. By taking regular breaks, you are able to stay more alert when working.

Carry a personal alarm:  Workplace accidents happen all around us, all the time. You could take every safety precaution in the world however; the risk is still there. By equipping staff with personal safety devices, you’re going the extra mile in providing them protection in the case that an emergency did occur. With Skyguard’s lone worker protection service, with just a click of the emergency button an alarm is activated and received by Skyguard’s 24-hour Incident Management Centre. Here, Controllers follow bespoke escalation procedures, they listen in to the situation, and if they feel assistance is required, they are able to summon professional help.

For those working in manufacturing, employees could utilise the MySOS device with Mandown enabled. This means, if an employee was to slip or collapse, an alarm would automatically trigger by sudden impact. This is ideal, especially for those working alone or with no one in close proximity to provide help.