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You can stay safe in a factory–with the help of your employer

Posted in Our Blog,Workers Compensation on January 18, 2018

Working in a factory in Louisiana can be dangerous, especially if your employer disregards the prescribed safety regulations. If you earn your income in a hazardous environment, you might be wise to gather knowledge about the potential dangers you will face. Learning more about the necessary safety precautions may keep you out of the hospital.

Risk assessment is the logical place to start because there will always be something that can go wrong. If you can identify potential hazards, you can take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries.

Employer’s responsibilities

Your employer must protect your safety and health. OSHA prescribes basic guidelines for every industry, and your boss must comply by providing the following:

  • Training: To keep you safe, training must cover two aspects. Your employer must provide training to equip you with knowledge of the technical issues of operating specific machinery, along with safety training to teach you how to avoid potential hazards.
  • PPE: Your boss must provide you with the necessary personal protective equipment such as a fall harness, gloves, eye and hearing protection and more.
  • Evacuation plans: Frequent fire and other emergency evacuation drills must form part of safety protocol to ensure all workers are aware of the location of emergency exits, fire extinguishers and know how to use them.
  • Machine safety: Business owners must ensure that every piece of machinery is safe to use and fitted with the necessary safety guards and energy-isolating devices to prevent contact with moving or energized machine parts.

Your responsibilities

There are specific steps that you must take to protect yourself, including the following:

  • Clothing: It will be in your interest to avoid wearing loose clothing and jewelry while operating factory equipment. If you have long hair, it would be wise to tie it back. The moving parts of equipment or conveyor belts can snag these objects and pull you into the machine, causing amputation injuries or worse.
  • Tools: Tools will be safe to use if you always clean them after use. This will also help you to identify defects to report to your supervisor.
  • Heavy equipment: Never work on machines for which you are not qualified. If you operate a heavy machine, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and always ensure proper shut down at the end of a job. Never clean or do maintenance without activating the lockout/tag-out device.
  • Housekeeping: If you maintain clean surroundings at your workstation and avoid leaving random objects on the floor, you can prevent accidental trip-and-fall incidents.

Unfortunately, you alone will likely not be able to avoid workplace injuries. In a manufacturing plant, employee safety depends on everybody’s compliance with safety regulations — including you, your employer and your co-workers. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer on-the-job injuries, you may be entitled to recover medical expenses and lost income from the Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance system. To ease the complicated claims process, the support and guidance of experienced legal counsel are available.