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Hand-related injuries are one of the most common forms of worker injures in Automotive Manufacturing environments. These types of injuries can range from small cuts and lacerations to life-altering damage and can be costly for both a company and its employees. Accidents and injuries can lead to increased employee time away from work, lost productivity, and even a physical inability to return to work at all.
Here are 5 ways to help you and your workers stay safe in Automotive environments:
1. Identify Your Risk
It is important to know what risks you are exposed to in your working environment. These risks can vary with application and can range from cut and abrasion to chemical and oil, even to electrical, heat or impact-related risks. Familiarize yourself with the tools, materials and surroundings in which you are exposed. By identifying all environmental hazards, you can effectively protect your team from dangerous situations, ultimately reducing the number of potential accidents and resulting injuries.
2. Choose the Correct PPE
We all know cost factors into the decision-making process of purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). However, you never want to sacrifice protection for price. Three questions you should always ask yourself when choosing the correct PPE for your team are:
I. Is my team protected from the surrounding environmental risks?
II. Is my team receiving the level of protection necessary to complete their tasks safely? For example, a task that requires Cut Level A7 protection is very different than a task that requires Cut Level A2 protection.
III. Are my team members wearing the right sized-gloves? Workers are more inclined to remove their hand protection and expose their bare hands to environmental risks due to wearing ill-fitting gloves. Eliminate these chances by ensuring your team is wearing the correct sized gloves at all times.
3. Remove All Jewelry
Wearing jewelry in an Automotive Manufacturing environment is a major safety hazard and can result in very serious injuries. These injuries can include cuts, amputations, even electric shock! Note, the term “jewelry” is not limited to earrings, bracelets and necklaces. It also includes jewelry which may be covered by clothing such as ankle bracelets, toe rings and body piercings, or fit snug against your skin such as rings or stud earrings. Remove all jewelry before entering your working environment to save your limbs and your life!
4. Identify Safety Features on Machinery & Power Tools
Before using any machinery equipment or power tool, ensure that you have a full understanding of the available safety features and how they function. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared when it comes to using a piece of equipment where one accident could have life-altering consequences.
5. Stay Alert
Once familiarized with or accustomed to daily tasks and responsibilities, it is easy to fall into autopilot mode as you go about your day. The most simple and effective way to keep your hands safe and protected is to always be aware of your surroundings and stay focused on the task at hand.
Accidents happen. But with the correct PPE and safety protocols in place, these accidents can happen less frequently and lead to a safer and more prepared workforce.