Manufacturing of metal and machinery, commonly referred to as Metal Fabrication and Machinery & Equipment (M&E), is one of the most dynamic manufacturing industries due to its strong ties and interconnections with major economic sectors such as raw materials, fabricated metal, finished goods and services. The industry covers the entire spectrum of sub-sectors ranging from general purpose and power machinery to specialized process and metal fabrication machinery.
Manufacturing and production are among the top 3 occupations with the largest number of disabling injuries according to the US National Safety Council’s (NSC) statistics. A 2019 study by NSC estimated the total cost of workplace injuries at a staggering $171 billion in the US only.1 Injuries to hands and fingers account for approximately 25 percent of work injuries. Many of these injuries occur due to failure to observe safety protocols or caused by absence of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) at production facilities. These injuries are, therefore, preventable.
Mechanical hazards like moving machine parts may potentially cause severe workplace injuries such as crushed fingers or hands, amputations and burns. Other common injuries in metal fabrication or M&E include cuts and severing injuries, stabbing or puncture caused by equipment or metal sheets as well as friction or abrasion due to rough surface parts and musculoskeletal diseases due to vibration. Machine parts, materials and emissions can be hot or cold enough to inflict burns or scalds and working with energized components may cause electrical shock and burns. Metal fabrication including welding, cutting, and brazing is exceptionally dangerous as these work processes create sparks, fumes, radiation, and other hazards. Following safety protocols and using adequate PPE is essential for protecting workers from these preventable injuries.
Ansell offers an expansive portfolio of hand and body protection solutions to guard against hazards such as cut, puncture, abrasion, vibration, electrical, and impact risks. Our product range also includes gloves and suits designed to protect skin from chemical hazards, such as paints, solvents, hexavalent chromium, and cleaning fluids that may be present in metal fabrication. Metal fabrication and M&E workers who are exposed to the industry-related hazards deserve appropriate protective solutions that help them stay safe and productive while delivering comfort and performance.
As the industry includes different types of machines and processes, a risk assessment should be conducted for each manufacturing line or work environment. It may be necessary to involve individuals with specialized or technical expertise to conduct such an assessment. AnsellGUARDIAN® helps companies around the world to assess potential risks and take steps to avoid them by making appropriate PPE selection based on various parameters including the types of hazards, job requirements, duration of use, etc.