April 6, 2016

Safety Gears in Manufacturing Industry

I have been working in a manufacturing industry, feed milling to be exact, for almost 13 years. From the laboratory to, now, in the production.

Since I started, wearing protective gears are not a big issue, until last year, when the Department of Labor and Employment became strict with their requirements. Safety of the employees working in different industries are now being monitored and should align with the standards.

Photo Source: Worker Team

According to http://www.losangelespersonalinjuryattorney.net/personal-injury-law/workplace-injuries-numbers/, manufacturing industry is one of the common workplaces where injuries occur. Because of this, employees should also wear the necessary safety gear to prevent any untoward incidents that may risk someone.

Here are the common protective gear required by Occupational Safety and Health Administration by Department of Labor and Employment:

Eye and Face Protection
Eye protection should be worn in the process where flying objects, liquids, radiation, glare and/or combination of these hazards. These protective gear must adequate to the workplace hazards comfortable to use, fit snugly, durable, easy to clean and disinfect, and must be kept in good condition.

For a person wearing glasses, goggles are more appropriate to use.

Respiratory Protection
Respiratory protection is needed to protect any hazards from dust, fogs, fumes, mists, smoke and other gases including vapors and sprays.

Head Protection
The hard hat is the most common head protection used in manufacturing industry. This is to protect workers from penetration of falling and flying debris, electric shock, and burns. Hard hats must be made of non-combustible or slow-burning materials and for the electrical environment, it must be non-conductor. For excessive moisture, a water-proof material is recommended.

Hair Protection
This protective gear must be worn if the worker has long hair. It should be well-fit and made of non-flammable materials.

Hand and Arm Protection
Hand and arm protection must cover the forearm, if possible, and must close fit at the upper end. The fingers of the wearer must be moving freely.

Hand and arm protection must be suitable to the type of work. For example, if a person is working with hot metals, a heat-proof glove is needed. If working with a sharp or abrasive materials, the gloves or mittens must be made of tough materials with reinforcements if necessary. Rubber-made materials are required when handling corrosive, like acids and bases.

Hand and arm protection is not recommended for operators of drillers, punch presses, and the like machinery because this might be caught by moving parts and may cause injuries.

Belts, Life Lines, and Safety Nets
These safety gears are required for workers working in unguarded surface above pits, steep slopes and moving machinery or more meters above the ground. If safety belts and life lines are not feasible, safety nets can be used as an alternative.

Materials for belts must be made of chrome tanned leather, linen or cotton webbing or other  suitable materials with at least 4.5 inches width and 0.25 inches thickness. The strength should be enough to support 114 kgs without breaking. Buckles should securely hold without slippage or another failure.

Life lines, on the other hand, should be of good quality rope with at least 0.75 inches diameter and can support a weight of 1140 kgs without breaking.

For safety nets, 3/8 inches should be the least diameter mesh. This should be equipped with padded timber sockets or equivalent means of attachment. Anchorage and support must be sturdy to catch falling worker.

Ear Protection
In a working area where noise level is above the normal condition, an earplug or earmuff is needed to reduce the sound level to a permissible level.

Safety Shoes
Safety shoes must protect our feet from heavy objects like tools and barrels that might roll onto the foot. It must also protect from sharp objects like nails and spikes. Working in a metal industry must require safety shoes that can withstand any molten metals. It should be also slip-proof and can protect from electrical hazards.

Wearing these personal protective equipment maybe uncomfortable but it is better to put SAFETY FIRST than risking your life.

Do you wear protective gears at work?