Manufacturing safety is comprised of all measures you implement to protect your workers from physical harm in your manufacturing facility or plant. It generally entails multiple processes, systems, personnel, and technologies. Without these prevention measures in place, your company assumes a high risk of work-related fatalities and injuries, from amputations and crushed limbs to burns and vision loss.
Why It’s Important to Invest in Manufacturing Safety
Recent statistics show workplace injuries can easily get out of hand without proper preventive measures in place. In 2019, the manufacturing industry had 421, 400 work-related nonfatal injuries and sicknesses. There were 2.6 incidences for every 100 full-time employees. About 90 injuries per 10,000 employees resulted in days away from work.
Strains, tears, cuts, and amputations were among the serious injuries recorded in manufacturing facilities that year. Adequate workplace safety in your plant or factory can help in many ways, including:
- Protecting your workers from harm
- Maximizing productivity by optimizing the physical well-being and availability of your employees
- Minimize your liability risks
- Ensure legal compliance
Case Studies Demonstrating Manufacturing Safety Importance
Safety in Manufacturing Yields More Than $2 million ROI (Return on Investment)
A specialty nonwoven manufacturer invested $25,000 to boost the safety of its manufacturing environment. It put in place various workplace safety measures, including:
- A quick-reaction, customized braking system for equipment, reducing the roller’s stop time from 20 minutes to 10 seconds
- A light curtain capable of quickly stopping the equipment
- New safety guards for workers
These worker safety upgrades generated more than $2 million in return on investment. Productivity and operational efficiency gain yielded an additional $500,000.
Musculoskeletal Disorder Reduction with Process Automation
A steel gold club manufacturer-installed automated feeders so that workers don’t have to manually manipulate shafts at the plant. Before the upgrade, employees would hold the shafts in position during an important part of the production workflow. The repetitive tasks caused harmful stiffness in the workers’ hands and wrists, resulting in costly workers’ compensation payouts.
The company invited a team of engineers to perform an ergonomic assessment of their key workflows. Automation with feeders was identified as a viable solution. This investment cost the company $15,000, but it brought in $222,000 in ROI. Plus, productivity at the facility increased as one employee could now manage three machines at a time.
Fall Claims and Injury Prevention With Loss Analysis
Adjustment of workflows and investments in new equipment at a food processor facility helped prevent fall hazards and enhance workplace ergonomics. Before the changes, workers used to climb ladders to get hoses high enough to supply their spice production line. This process exposed them to the risk of falling from heights. Many of them faced the risk of injuring their back and shoulders due to the repetitive coupling and uncoupling of the hoses.
An evaluation of the hazards led to the implementation of these preventive measures:
- Installation of additional equipment
- Installation of a fixed vacuum hose for each unit
- Capacity to add spices at ground level eliminated the fall hazard
The process upgrades resulted in an ROI of about $106,000. Productivity gains and efficiencies at the facility amounted to $155,000.
These cases in point depict the importance of manufacturing safety. By including these measures in your risk management plans, you can protect your employees from harm and minimize your liability costs. Contact Hoffman Brown Company to learn more about protecting your business interests with appropriate commercial insurance. We’re happy to help you get customized coverage based on your specific needs.