Health and safety in the workplace is of paramount importance in the manufacturing industry. There may be an increased awareness around drawing up health and safety policies however seeing the policies through to implementation doesn’t always happen.

Each industry has its set of unsafe practices that plague manufacturing floors around the world and the plastics manufacturing sector is no different. In this two part post we’ll highlight 6 of the most common health and safety mistakes plastic manufacturers make.

Poor housekeeping

An untidy plastic manufacturing plant is a huge hazard. Health and safety experts agree that this could potentially be one of the single biggest hazards. If the manufacturing line is cluttered it can often result in unwanted items getting into moving parts or operators having to manoeuvre at awkward angles to get to things which could result in them losing balance and getting seriously hurt. The key to a safe plastic plant is to keep walkways clear, floors clean and emergency exits accessible.

Inappropriate clothing

The importance of wearing the correct clothing can never be overstated. Moving parts and loose clothing don’t go well together and although those operating the machinery on the plastic line may be dressed in the required personal protective equipment office workers who go down to the plant floor seldom take the same precaution. Neck ties, scarfs, loose shirts and jackets are all a recipe for disaster and should not be allowed on the manufacturing floor under any circumstances.

Wiping or adjusting moving machinery

Operators often don’t want to lose production time by shutting down machinery just to wipe off a drip of hot plastic, or hydraulic oil so they simply just wipe the machinery while it’s still running. This hazardous behaviour is where most operators are most likely to have limbs amputated.

We’re halfway through the health and safety mistakes operators in plastic manufacturing facilities often make. Check out Part 2 of our post where we delve a little deeper into some more common workplace hazards.

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