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Manufacturing accidents can be prevented

Safety in industrial facilities in Illinois and other states continues to be a concern among authorities. Although more automation involves fewer human workers, some of those who remain in manufacturing plants work with sophisticated but complex machinery that could cause severe injuries. Unfortunately, many business owners encourage cultures that prioritize profits over safety without realizing that manufacturing accidents can jeopardize productivity -- and ultimately profits.

Employees who see their employers value safety cultures will follow suit, and if business owners hire supervisors with similar safety values, workers will feel as if they are only evaluated solely on their production abilities. The necessary safety precautions must be in place, including lockout/tagout devices on all equipment to prevent accidental start ups during maintenance or service of machines. Also the appropriate fall protection and guard rails along with shields to protect workers from being struck by working machine parts.

Utilizing the necessary safety devices will be more effective if such installations ease the flow of the work. For example, a worker will sooner de-energize a machine before cleaning it if the switch is right there rather than on the other side of the building. Along with a written list of safety protocols and procedures, continuous communication and training must form part of the safety routine. Although awarding safe work can be beneficial, care must be taken that such awards do not deter the report of injuries or accidents.

Tragic manufacturing accidents can be prevented by strong safety commitments by management and employees of industrial companies. Such incidents can ruin not only business success but also the lives of workers who may suffer permanent disabilities or worse. In the unfortunate event of such an incident, injured victims will be entitled to pursue financial help through the Illinois workers' compensation insurance program. Benefits typically provide coverage for medical expenses and lost wages.

Source:, "Five Ways To Reduce Manufacturing Safety Hazards", Bill Kessler, July 21, 2017

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