Manufacturing is a dangerous industry. I have worked in a factory for many years and unfortunately in that time I have witnessed a couple of serious accidents. My work colleagues have suffered from some health problems caused directly from work, and I have certainly injured my body a few times. Thankfully the health and safety of the manufacturing industry has been carefully improved over recent years and the changes have helped to create a better working environment.
Dangers to Backs and Joints are Common Place
For me the main improvements have been in manual handling and changes in the way I work around the factory floor. When I first started I would do a lot of heavy lifting but that has now changed. There are lifts and moving platforms everywhere which have been a blessing to my back which has suffered over the years. What’s really great now is that my organisation has a dedicated health and safety manager, so if I am concerned about any new jobs I can discuss it with them first.
What happens then is that the manager will conduct a new risk assessment and come up with ways that will reduce the hazards and come up with safe systems of work. I am really happy to work in such an environment as I know many of my mates are not so lucky. Despite the fact that business owners face prosecution and even imprisonment some employers will risk the lives and health of their workers, until an accident happens and the Health and Safety Executive inspectors turn up anyway.
Be Aware of How to Handle Heavy Objects Safely
If you are working with heavy items it’s important to be aware of the risks from manual handling. Always raise your concerns with your supervisors and managers first. They have a legal duty to keep you safe. They will be able to assess the work you are doing and establish how dangerous it is. Once the risks have been assessed they may suggest a new system, provide you with some safety equipment or install a lift or machinery which will reduce the load you need to carry.
If you do need to lift remember to always lift with your legs and not your back. Ensure the area is clear and safe, and check the floor is dry. If you are lifting objects not designed to be moved the risks may be higher compared to items with handles or handholds. Beware of the dangers; raise your concerns with your managers and work together to remain safe.
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