All people at an industrial work site must be protected from the potential dangers and risks. This guide will show you how to ensure employee safety while on the job through barrier protection and more!
The Basic Requirements
While various items need protection in busy industrial workplaces, from machinery and equipment to the building itself, its workforce is the most critical asset to any company. Protecting employees is the highest priority for an employer, and there are various methods and safety solutions available to achieve this goal.
- Employer obligations to their staff: Employers are legally obliged to protect their employees and keep them reasonably comfortable in their workplace. All these requirements, and more, are outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA).
The Health and Safety Executive guides procedures, methods and provisions that employers can make or follow to ensure compliance with the HSWA. This includes:
- Performing a risk assessment.
- Making necessary changes to improve safety such as the installation of barrier protection.
- Changing routines/procedures to better protect their staff.
- Providing necessary tools and equipment.
- Providing required training around safety.
- Reporting any on-site accidents or near misses.
Providing comfortable workplace conditions: One of the fundamental practices employers can apply to guarantee workers’ welfare is to create comfortable conditions in which to work. Considerations should include:
- A comfortable working temperature inside buildings.
- Adequate ventilation throughout workspaces or a supply of clean, fresh air.
- Safe heating systems provide a stable temperature and no toxic fumes.
- Spacious workstations with enough room to complete duties.
- Proper seating where necessary.
Cleaning, hygiene and welfare facilities: Employers must provide adequate cleaning and hygiene facilities for workers, so they can work, eat and rest comfortably without worrying about spreading germs or bacteria.
Ensuring safe movement around busy facilities: At workplaces that use vehicles or machinery in daily operations, such as industrial facilities, factories and warehouses, employers should ensure that workers can travel through the site without risk of harm.
Safe Movement of Employees
Employers must also ensure that their employees can move safely around the workplace to avoid accidents and injuries. This includes:
- Safe floors and surfaces: Floors and ground surfaces should be even and level, without trip hazards such as holes, loose paving stones, or broken floorboards. Floors and surfaces should also be dry and not slippery. Where this can’t be prevented, employees should wear adequate clothing, such as shoes with a substantial tread, to minimise the risk of slipping or falling.
- Safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles: This applies to both communal areas, such as parking lots, where people and cars move nearby, as well as industrial workplaces where there are high volumes of site vehicles, such as:
- Forklift trucks.
- Multi-directional trucks.
- Side loaders.
- Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs).
- Picking and stacking machines.
- Pallet, hand and platform trucks.
- Scissor lifts.
- HGVs and HLGVs.
Where these vehicles operate alongside workers, protecting people from potential vehicle impacts is essential. The two best safety solutions to implement are traffic management and pedestrian barrier protection, as they guide people and machines along suitable routes without any incidents.
Should you need barrier protection for your staff and equipment, reach out to Brandsafe today! We’re a leading global provider of industrial impact protection and safety solutions. Access our Virtual Warehouse through our website, where you can explore and interact with our products.