Manufacturing is one of the most important industries in the country, but also one of the most hazardous because of the materials and equipment involved. Your employer has a responsibility to mitigate these hazards to the extent possible to provide a safe working environment. You have a responsibility to follow safety procedures and regulations to maintain that environment.
Here are a few hazards that you are most likely to encounter in manufacturing, as well as guidance on how to reduce your risk of injury.
According to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, oxygen depletion is a danger of working in confined spaces, such as tanks or vats. Ideally, your workplace has confined spaces clearly marked to alert you to the danger and emergency equipment to use in a critical situation. If your work frequently takes you into these confined spaces, you should receive training on using the safety equipment. You should also always do the work in pairs so if one partner gets into trouble, the other can get help.
Controlled fires are part of some manufacturing processes. For example, some metal goods require welding. Nevertheless, the fire can get out of control, putting you and your co-workers at risk. Your supervisor should carry out regular fire drills and provide training on how to use fire extinguishers. You should pay attention to the location of the fire exits and know where to go in an emergency.
Your employer should make sure that all containers holding hazardous materials bear understandable labels and that basic safety instructions are always available. You should follow the instructions in an emergency as well as the established process for loading, moving and operating the chemicals to prevent an accident.
Many manufacturing accidents result from a lack of training, which your employer has a responsibility to provide. Do not attempt any task for which you do not have the training, and if you feel your instruction has been inadequate, talk to your employer about it.