Safety Practices to Reduce Occupational Hazards in Metal Fabrication Shops
September 28, 2018 by Bob Wilson
Any job in the metal fabrication industry inherently possesses a degree of difficulty. Metal fabrication is among the jobs that pose a high level of risk to the safety and health of the workers. Among the health hazards associated with the job are exposure to metal fumes and ultraviolet radiation. These threaten the immune system and are potential causes of skin cancer. On the other hand, the safety hazards in metal fabrication shops include burns, eye damage, electric shock and other physical injuries.
As a company that specializes in metal fabrication in Edmonton, we not only guarantee top-quality service to our clients, we also make sure that our metal fabrication shop is safe for all our employees.
Here are some ways owners of metal fabrication businesses can protect their employees from potential workplace hazards:
Provision of Safety Gear
The company is responsible for providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to its metal fabricators. Although it may seem trivial, the opposite holds true – this matter is vital to safety. Adequate equipment plays a critical role in protecting workers from potential workplace hazards like bright flashes, chemicals and sharp edges.
Some of the basic PPE that should be given to the workers are:
- Welding Hoods: In a metal fabrication shop, the welding arcs emit radiations that can severely damage the eyes. With welding hoods, or other eye protection gear, the workers’ eyes are protected from not only the radiation but also the welder’s flash.
- Hearing Protection Equipment: Metal fabrication shops are noisy places. This is why it is important for metal fabricators to wear earplugs to protect their eardrums. These can also prevent shop dust and other particles from entering the workers’ ears.
- Specialized Garments: The clothing of metal fabricators should be specially made to minimize burns caused by sparks and protect the skin from chemicals like lubricants and corrosion inhibitors. These garments include leather gloves and oil-resistant shoes.
Proper Training for Metal Fabricators
Shop floor employees should have undergone intensive training prior to taking on the work. These programs will help them learn (or at least refresh their knowledge) the ins-and-outs of operating specialized machines and identifying issues in the machinery. Additionally, training will make employees more aware of the occupational hazards and help them be more careful and responsible while on the job.
The training should cover the correct use of tools to reduce mishandling. Consequently, proper tool handling, including operations of forklifts and appropriate lifting techniques, reduces workplace injuries.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance
The plant supervisors should hold routine inspections to pinpoint any issues within the facility. They should conduct a thorough assessment of warehouse conditions, tools, machinery and storage. If there are any damages within the shop or if any of the tools and machines are not in optimal condition, these should be addressed immediately. Working with faulty tools in a poorly maintained facility exposes the workers to potential danger.
All tools, materials, and machines should be acquired only from reputable suppliers to ensure quality and safety. Additionally, prior to use, workers should check if the tools function properly.
Occupational hazards in this industry are not a rare occurrence. There are already thousands of metal fabricators who have been injured at work. At Advantage Manufacturing Ltd, we make our metal fabrication shop in Edmonton safe for our workers, not only because they are valuable to the company, but also because we value them.
For information about our metal fabrication services in Edmonton, contact us today.