Facility Safety for Metalworkers: Facility Safety

Facility SafetyKeeping buildings, machinery and premises safe is essential to the success of metalworking facilities.

These common scenarios show typical safety hazards found in metalworking facilities:

• A painted concrete floor becomes very slippery around a Computer and Numerical Control milling center in the fabrication department

• A lathe operator needs to complete a “quick job” shop piece but his safety glasses are on the other side of the facility

• A facility located in a residential neighborhood has an unsecured yard area outside its fabrication and finishing buildings for raw stock storage, which is an attractive nuisance for local children after hours

These and other hazards may exist in your facility. You can help control and manage the insurance risks associated with facility safety by implementing these safety tips:

Facility Safety

• Define procedures by which employees promptly report any fluid leaks from machinery or containers

• Establish a Preventative Maintenance schedule for each piece of machinery and critical-use equipment according to the manufacturers’ specifications

• Mark paths of travel for forklifts, vehicles and pedestrians throughout the facility

• Install electrical wiring throughout the facility using trained electricians, in accordance with the National Electric Code’s NFPA 70 code

• Avoid congestion or bottlenecks when planning the facility’s layout and spacing of machinery and equipment

• Store stock supplies a safe distance from machinery and general traffic areas

• Apply an etcher or other commercial surface treatment that maintains a safe coefficient of friction (.5 or higher) to ensure a painted floor does not create additional risk of slip and fall injuries. Employees should wear non-permeable, slip-resistant soled shoes to prevent slipping.

• Post Personal Protective Equipment requirements at all entrances to the production area

• Do not allow employees to smoke, eat or drink in the shop area

• Provide adequate lighting throughout the facility

• Assess the building and premises to determine if there is a need for rodent, pest or bird control measures

• Inspect floor coverings at entrances and hallways throughout the facility

• Meet all wiring needs by hardwiring versus extension cords

• Mark appropriate clearances around electrical panels, emergency exit ways/doors and sprinkler equipment

• Store high-value metals on site in a locked area with limited employee access

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