Best practices that manufacturing industry follows in safety and security
There is no dearth of safety and security solutions in the market. The manufacturing industry should not stop at adopting it at the workplace
Modern manufacturing units are required to produce big batches of high-quality products while meeting tight deadlines to keep up with the ever-increasing market demands. But this also requires that manufacturing facilities strike a perfect balance between operational efficiency and employee safety.
Today's modern manufacturing units are highly cautious and take safety as a serious concern. Despite this, accidents and fatalities occur. More often than not, it's the personnel who chooses to ignore safety measures and decides to take risks. It is important that employees who work on specific equipment are trained to identify abnormalities like strange sounds or smell, exposed wires, vibrations, leaks, smoke, abnormal wobbling, irregular grinding or other potentially hazardous signs which indicate the need for an immediate shutdown.
Interestingly, there are plenty of safety solutions also available that are easy to don thus encouraging shop floor employees (this is where most accidents happen) to take care of themselves.
The need to adopt
In recent times, while large manufacturing companies are stringent about safety, SMEs too are adopting safety and security solutions because they recognise their benefits. Sunita Sapra, COO, KARAM Industries, says, "An important reason for this change has to do with workers equipped with safety and security equipment working more productively and remaining longer with employers that provide such solutions. Increasingly SMEs are concerned with the safety of workers and are wary of accidents in the workplace. They realise that equipping workers with PPE is an effective way to improve productivity and most importantly to keep workers safe. Concern about workers safety far from being an afterthought is taken seriously by enterprises and many recognise adherence to high standards of safety signals a business is professionally managed and successful."
KARAM Industries manufactures safety and security solutions like safety helmets, protective eyewear, face shields, hearing protection equipment, hand protection equipment, and safety shoes each of which are used in manufacturing plants. Because of safety equipment, countless workers across India and overseas work safely in hazardous settings. All its safety equipment meet the most stringent standards including European norms (EN) and those of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Its rigorous manufacturing processes and quality checks ensure every finished product carrying the KARAM logo protects against hazards as intended to.
Similarly Axis Communications has been driving the security solutions market through its wide range of product portfolio. Sudhindra Holla, country manager, Axis Communications, India and SAARC operations, says, "Cameras can be made to learn so that people can automate. This could apply to security or tools that can enable companies to take action. Today, cameras are going beyond the usual safety instruments that they were meant to be and a fine example of their use is in retail and smart cities."
Measures to save
To minimise the risk it is important to have vital infrastructure equipment inspected and serviced by in-house or on contract technicians on a periodic basis. A manufacturing facility is only as safe as the employees working for it and employees often work alone. So, when an unexpected event occurs, managing the most rapid response possible becomes challenging. This is why most manufacturing units have an appropriate safety training programme in place to ensure employee safety against electrical hazards, chemicals burns, machines, moving parts and equipment. Each piece of equipment on the plant floor should be inspected for proper machine guarding and related safeguarding before it is first used. This will help one identify any pieces of equipment that have exposed parts or outdated guarding techniques.
Sapra says, "Despite greater awareness of the need for safety equipment and growing numbers of manufacturers equipping workers with safety solutions, an unreasonably large number of manufacturers still fail to equip workers with certified safety equipment. Manufacturers who don’t use certified safety equipment tend to see such equipment as an unnecessary expense rather than as a means to improve worker safety and productivity. Manufacturers should be educated to see the value of safety equipment and view their use not as an additional expense but rather as a way to ensure worker safety, increase productivity and lower costs over the long term."
Ideally, safety and security solutions include the implementation of the best industry practices when handling materials and heavy machinery especially, when the work involves moving objects and hazardous equipment. The training should also include educating employees on first-aid, CPR, safety monitoring technology, confined-space rescue and emergency response protocol to keep the workforce prepared to manage emergencies – at all times.
Similarly, Axis Communications is seeing an increase in security solutions in India. Holla says, "Considering that most manufacturing units are based on the periphery of cities, there is little control on light of the facilities. Firstly, there is a need to safeguard the manufacturing facility itself. It means putting solutions around the perimeter which can identify and detect unusual activity and allows one to take action."
Axis Communications has implemented security solutions at well-known manufacturing companies and their offices. CEAT Tyres has installed 5 Axis cameras of different models. AXIS M3011, AXIS P1344, AXIS M1134, AXIS P5512 and AXIS M1113 network cameras have been mounted for monitoring the entire R&D facility, office and the manufacturing plant. These cameras are specifically designed for indoor use and are discreet cameras that are powered over Ethernet and provide high quality images.
Technologies like the network audio helps in identifying over the video solutions. Holla says that ruggedness of the solutions help in the inner environment of the manufacturing facility. Our cameras provide excellent HDTV image quality regardless of lighting conditions and the size and characteristics of the monitored areas. And they do it while minimizing bandwidth and storage needs to help you save energy.
Absence of safeguards can lead to an expected release of energy or start an equipment while it is being repaired, leading to a serious injury or even death. This is why employers must ensure that appropriate lockout/tagout procedures are in place to confirm that the power supply has been completely disconnected before an employee undertakes any work on the machine.
Whatever be the case, employers and employees need to consider the safety of the personnel and ensure that someone is in attendance when hazardous jobs are being done so that reputations are not tarnished and lives are saved.