Industrial Safety, Accidents & Prevention

“The management of all operations and procedures in an industry in order to protect its employees and assets by minimizing hazards, risks, accidents, and near misses” called the Industrial Safety.

What Are Industrial Accidents?

The accidents are the mishaps leading injury to man, machines or tools and equipment and may cause injury and result either death or temporary disablement or permanent disablement of the industrial employees.  The accidents are unwanted events or mishaps that result in some sort of injury to men, material, machines, tools, equipment, and semi or finished product hence, a loss to the whole establishment.

The injuries or loss may be minor or major in nature and accordingly, the accident is termed as nonreportable
or reportable kind. Few industries determine the accidents by the extent to which it leads to the disablement of the victim and number of hours or days he is to remain absent from duty on account of the problem. There are others that take into consideration various factors like machines, tools, materials, cost of medicines, loss of production and compensation to be given to the worker who meets with the accident.

INDUSTRIAL SAFETYSome effects are associated with accidents in industries as follows:

Effects of Accidents to the Industry or factory

(A) Direct Costs of industrial accidents

  • The compensation paid to the workers.
  • The money paid for treatment.
  • The monetary value of damaged tools, equipment & materials.

(B) Indirect Costs of Industrial accidents

  • The lost time of injured workers.
  • The time lost by other employees.
  • The delays in production.
  • The time lost by supervisors, safety engineers, etc.
  • The lowered production due to substitute workers.

Effects of Accidents to the Worker

  • The industrial workers may get temporary or permanent disability.
  • If the industrial worker dies, his family loses the earner and the compensation never equals to his earnings.
  • The accident also affects the morale of the employees working in the manufacturing environment.

Preventive Measures

Safety while working safely in a factory is the safety of human beings and the safety of workshop machinery. Hence there is a great need for the study of industrial safety for accident prevention and good housekeeping is the utmost. Few very common safety measures are as follows:

  • The proper safety guards for reciprocating machine components such as drop hammers, presses, shaper, slotter, power hacksaw, paper cutters, etc.
  • Fencing of dangerous and rotating parts like revolving shafts, incorporating safety devices such as safety valves, rigid construction of heavy items like hoists, cranes, etc.
  • proper insulation of the electric wire and earthing of electric appliances, wearing appropriate safety shoes and other necessary safety gear.
  • Cleanliness of shop floor, removal of metal chips with proper protection.
  • Avoiding fire hazards and disposal of hazards as soon as possible.
  • Carefully handling of heavy materials and components.
  • Protective devices such as safe hard hats, rubberized hats for protection against liquids /chemicals, ear protectors, face mask/face shields, welding helmet, goggles of case-hardened and clear glass for protection against impact should be used as per the need.

Common Saftey methods

The common methods of safety are as follows:

  • Workplace layout and proper working conditions.
  • Using Guards like interlock, automatic, trip & distance guards.
  • Proper material handling.
  • Using protective products such as helmets, ear protectors, face mask/face shields, hand gloves, welding helmet, goggles of case-hardened and clear glasses.

The above methods of safety are discussed below.

Workplace layout and Proper working conditions

A suitable layout and proper working conditions play an important role in preventing accidents. Industrial safety using workplace layout and proper working conditions are as follows:

  • Moving paths or passageways should be clearly marked and never be obstructed.
  • Every employee should have enough space to move and operate the machine.
  • The height of the shop floor should be adequate for proper ventilation and lighting.
  • Firewalls should be used to separate various compartments.
  • Proper ventilation should be there in the workplace.
  • Noise level should be proper if any. Use silencers to minimize the noise level.

Using Guards like automatic, trip & distance guards

Trip Guards: TheTrip guard in the machine is comprised of a tripping device which enables quick stopping or reversal of the motion of the machine as soon as the operator approaches within the reach of dangerous parts.

Distance Guards: Distance guard helps to fence the dangerous components of machine such as bars or rails and
position them at a suitable distance from the machine such that even the operator by chance, extends his hands over it, his fingers, clothes or any of the body does not reach within the area of dangerous parts.

Automatic Guards: The automatic guard is that its operation is actuated by some moving part of the machine. Automatic guard and machine operation are so linked that the part will automatically bring the guard in protecting position before the operation of the machine starts.

Fixed Guards: The fixed guards either form an integral part of the machine or are so tightly secured to them that they are not easily

Proper material handling

Some basic instructions to reduce accidents while moving material, tools, or machines are the following:

  • Use of available material handling aids.
  • Avoid lifting material from the floor while seated.
  • Never lift a load over an obstacle.
  • Seek assistance from co-workers.
  • Stay in good physical shape.
  • Reduce load sizes when possible.
  • Do not twist or bend while lifting objects.
  • Use lighter containers or bins.
  • Keep lifts between shoulder and knuckle height.
  • Use conveyor, slides for moving materials.

Using Protecting Products

Some basic safety gear used in  industrial manufacturing to avoid accidents as follows:

Gloves: Industrial work gloves are designed to protect working hands against a range of traumatic hand injuries including cuts, burns, and broken bones from hot surfaces & sharp edges.

Eyeglasses: Industrial safety glasses are pretty much the standard in health and safety regulations of various industries. Industrial eyeglasses protect the eyes of chemical, welding, mechanical, and construction. Laborers, plumbers, carpenters, and construction site workers, all of them require high-grade eyeglasses that prevent damage while offering maximum impact protection and clear vision.

Ear protector/ Ear Plug: Earplugs or ear protector protects the workers from noise damage.

Shoes: Safety shoes are very effective in keeping the feet of industrial workers safe from sharp and heavy objects while working in factories or industries.

Helmets: Industrial safety helmets save industrial workers from head injuries.

Apron:  Industrial safety apron saves workers from chemicals, oils, welding sparks, machines or tools sharp edges.

Fire extinguisher: Fire extinguisher is a fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires.

General Safety Precautions while Working in a Workshop 

  • Never lean against the machines.
  • keep the work area clean and dry.
  • Always work in proper lighting.
  • Keep your mind on the job, be alert, and be ready for any emergency.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after working to remove oils, abrasive particles, cutting fluid, etc.
  • Never leave tools or other things on machines.
  • Remove burrs, chips and other unwanted materials as soon as possible.
  • Do not operate a machine until you have received operating instructions.
  • Make sure that all guards are in their place before starting to operate a machine.
  • Always wear overcoat or apron and other safety equipment.
  • The operator must not talk unnecessarily while operating the machines.
  • Stop the machine before making measurements or adjustments.
  • Always take help for handling long or heavy pieces of material.
  • Never try to stop the machine with hands or body.
  • The only a trained operator should operate the machine.
  • Defective guards must be replaced or repaired immediately.
  • The floor should be kept clean and clear of metal chips or curls and waste pieces.
  • Always check that work-piece and cutting tools are clamped properly before starting the machine.
  • Never leave the machine ON even after the power is OFF.
  • Never clean, adjust or repair any machine while it is running. Stop the machine and lock the power switch in the OFF position.

General Electrical Safety Measures

Rules and regulations for handling electrical appliances are as follows:

  • All metallic parts, externally accessible must be earthed.
  • Overloading of any electric circuit must be avoided.
  • Electric safety devices like a fuse, circuit breakers over-tripping must be always used where ever required.
  • All defective and worn-out electric fittings must be replaced.
  • No untrained persons should be allowed to repair electrical faults.
  • Always use Rubber gloves, boots with rubber soles, and other safety items while working with high voltage.
  • Power supply must be switched off during maintenance work.
  • Only authorized person should be allowed to switch on and off ’ the power supply.
  • Avoid touching metal case of any electrical apparatus when it is in operation.
  • Periodical inspection should be done to detect the damages.
  • Good standards of safety items must be maintained.

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