10 Impactful Benefits of Proper Safety Guarding
Industrial facilities are active places and host a variety of risks – from slips and falls to hazardous chemical use and storage to traveling forklifts to machinery with moving parts – that can injure or potentially kill employees. Accidents caused by these and other dangers can not only incapacitate workers, but they can also result in medical bills, lawsuits, increased workers’ compensation rates and Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) fines, which make a significant dent in a business’s bottom line.
The Importance of Safety Guarding
One of the best and most proactive ways to protect employees from preventable accidents and avoid the nightmare of insurance hassles, legal costs and regulatory fines is to install safety guarding that is designed to protect the workforce from known hazards by securing dangerous machinery and areas. Whether it is being used as a machine guard, cordon or visual barrier, the application of safety guarding must fit the needs of the facility and the workforce, while also meeting OSHA requirements.
Fixed guards, which can serve the purpose of guarding machines or creating a barrier between workers and high-risk areas in a facility, are a common solution and perform their job well provided they are constructed with materials that are sturdy enough to withstand impact and perform effectively in the harsh environments found in many industrial facilities. Fixed barrier guards must also accommodate maintenance activities and repairs, integrate safety components and provide flexibility for future expansion or plant floor re-configurations.
T-slot aluminum profiles from 80/20 Solutions satisfy these requirements, as these industrial framing systems offer a reconfigurable solution, as well as a durability and strength that is comparable to steel. Their two-degree drop-lock feature ensures secure connections that are vibration resistant, making them sturdy and suitable for use around moving and rotating equipment and on busy manufacturing and warehousing floors.
10 Benefits Associated with Proper Safety Guarding
In addition to improving the safety record of the facility and keeping workers a safe distance from hazards, using strong and re-configurable safety guarding, such as 80/20 Solutions’ T-slot aluminum profile framing systems, offers other advantages. Here are 10 worthwhile benefits associated with proper use of safety guarding:
- Injury Avoidance: By minimizing the chances of coming into contact with fast-moving equipment and cordoning off high-risk areas within the facility, safety guarding reduces the probability of accidents that may result in injury or fatality, as well as other dangers such as hearing loss, slips and falls, eye injuries, burns, crushing accidents, collisions and other potential workplace injuries.
- Compliance with OSHA Regulations: Because OSHA mandates that employers implement safety guarding to protect workers, companies must comply to ensure the safety of their employees. Failure to do so means there will be OSHA fines and may result in increased insurance premiums.
- Reduced Cost of Accidents: The cost of a workplace accident often includes not only OSHA fines, but medical expenses, workers’ compensation claims, increased insurance premiums, paid time off and lost productivity. Properly protecting from hazards minimizes the incidence of accidents in the workplace, which, in turn, reduces the costs associated with on-the-job injuries.
- Reduced Downtime: Even minor injuries undoubtedly lead to downtime in the facility, so improving the safety of equipment and the busy factory floor will likely result in fewer accidents and less accident-related downtime for the business.
- Increased Productivity: In addition to increasing productivity by reducing injury-related downtime, productivity in the facility is likely to increase when workers feel safe and secure and can concentrate on performing their job rather than avoiding potential accidents and injuries. Further, according to OSHA statistics, safety incentives reduce absenteeism by more than 30%, which will help increase availability of staff and optimize production schedules.
- Better Quality: Minimizing accidents and alleviating employee fears and anxieties regarding their safety by protecting them from hazards allows workers to better concentrate on tasks, likely resulting in fewer errors, more attention to detail and improved employee morale, which should improve quality output.
- Protecting Assets: While the intention of safety guarding is to protect employees from injury, it may also protect assets through both accident avoidance and tampering. Any harm to machinery that impacts its operational performance usually leads to repair or replacement costs, so installing safety guarding will likely deter accidents and vandalism, protecting assets and reducing costs associated with repair.
- Reduced Housekeeping Tasks: Many facilities rely on regular housekeeping activities to ensure the proper operation of machinery and maintain workplace safety (think avoiding slips and falls, risk of fire and explosion) and appearance. Safety guarding can help contain production related sparks, dust and other debris, reducing the amount of housekeeping needed to keep surrounding areas clean.
- Additional Workspace: By employing safety guarding around hazardous situations, employees may be able to work in closer proximity to dangerous areas than they did before safeguards were in place, permitting more functional working spaces throughout the facility, while also improving the safety record and employee morale.
- Enhancing Company Reputation: When a business makes an effort to provide a safe work environment, it is more likely to attract and retain a skilled workforce. In addition, a safe work environment creates trust and goodwill between management and employees. Satisfied workers, along with a clean safety record, are likely to enhance a company’s brand and reputation with the public.
To learn more about how the strong, reconfigurable and effective industrial safety framing systems from 80/20 Solutions can protect workers and enhance the facility’s safety record as well as the bottom line, please contact JHFOSTER today.