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.

Insufficient operator training

Safety is rated as one of the most important parts of training for plastics processing according to workers. Having the correct training is paramount to reducing the number of accidents you experience in the workplace. This includes proper training on how to operate the machinery, and what to do in case of an emergency.

Disabling safety devices

According to OSHA another common violation in plastic manufacturing occurs when operators either disable the emergency stop feature or don’t use the proper lock-out/tag-out. By disabling these safety devices on the gates to injection and blow moulding machines operators put themselves at risk for crushed fingers, hands, heads and whole bodies between moving moulds. Some operators even go so far as to remove safety gates altogether because they interfere with the mould cycle.

Improper equipment handling

Plastics manufacturing workers who fail to follow the correct safety training and lock-out procedures may find themselves in dangerous situation when attempting to repair or clean machinery. Some of the biggest issues in this area include climbing into machinery, standing on barrel covers of extruders to fill the hopper and conducting electrical work without cutting the power. As you would imagine these behaviours will often result in deadly outcomes.

Missed Part 1 of our roundup? Click here.

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