Common Safety Practices in Metal Fabricating

May 27, 2020 5:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Safety should be a top priority whenever working with heavy equipment and volatile chemicals or gases. Not only does it help prevent accidents, but it keeps insurance costs down, protects the machines, prevents downtime and helps a fabrication shop stay organized and productive.

Knowing that a metal fabrication shop adheres to safety standards and cares about its employees also helps keep morale up and makes workers feel more comfortable in their environment. That also makes them a lot more appealing to customers of conscience—no one wants to think they’re working with a company who brushes off worker safety.

Here are some of the most common safety protocols in metal fabrication in Umatilla County, OR:

  • Maintain your machines regularly: Machines that aren’t regularly inspected, maintained and repaired are unsafe machines. Make sure you know what each tool requires in terms of maintenance, and develop a maintenance and repair schedule—then stick to it.
  • Communicate safety rules early and often: As a shop owner, it’s crucial that you come up with a list of safety rules and then clearly communicate them to staff, post them whenever necessary (or as required by law) and go over them periodically to make sure everyone is still on board an in compliance.
  • Keep the shop organized: Knowing exactly where each tool or piece of safety equipment is stored is key to keeping everyone safe, as well as making sure they’re able to function in the event of an emergency.
  • Wear safety gear at all times: It should go without saying, but all workers in a fabrication shop need to wear the appropriate safety gear at all times. That includes head and ear protection, safety gloves and goggles. Check your OSHA and state guidelines if you’re unsure of the minimum standards.
  • Avoid loose clothing: When working with automated tools, loose clothing is a safety hazard—it can get caught in machines or otherwise cause damage to employees and machines alike. Hair should be pulled back, and jewelry should be removed until the end of the shift.
  • Make sure workers are consistently trained: Safety training should start the first day on the job and continue throughout an employee’s tenure with the shop. Keeping everyone updated on proper safety practices and what to do in case of an emergency can make the difference in the severity of accidents, or prevent them entirely.
  • Allow and encourage breaks when needed: Worker fatigue is an accident waiting to happen. Working in a fabrication shop is a physically and mentally demanding job, and when fabricators are distracted, exhausted, hungry or thirsty, their work quality will slip. At a minimum, adhere to federal and state regulations regarding breaks and work hours, but you might consider a more generous policy. The healthier your workers are, the better product you’ll put out.

A shop that takes safety seriously is one that will thrive, along with its workers. When you’re in need of fabrication, machining and welding, call NW Metal Fabricators Inc. to get started on your next project. We’re proud to enforce the most common safety protocols in our metal fabrication facility in Umatilla County, OR.

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