Notify Technology | Jul 2, 2021 | Blog

Health and Safety Risks in Engineering and How to Manage Them

Two engineering workers using a machine

Effective management of Health and Safety risks in the engineering industry means being aware of the numerous potential hazards to your team. From the risks associated with operating heavy machinery to the use of harsh chemicals, the potential injuries and illnesses that can occur in engineering environments can be life-threatening.

Managing these risks and protecting your team can be a complex job with a heavy workload. The risk assessment of many different processes, the inspection and servicing cycles of different units of machinery and systems, keeping on top of training and ensuring licenses are up to date – it can feel like a struggle to manage it all.

In the spirit of helping you effectively protect your team and uphold compliance whilst maintaining your own sanity, we’ve listed the top five health and safety risks in the engineering workplace and provided some helpful tips on how to manage them effectively.

Machinery Risks

In engineering, injuries and cases of ill health involving machinery measure in the thousands each year. With different pieces of machinery for different engineering processes, keeping on top of managing the health and safety measures associated with each can be time-consuming. Here are some elements to consider:

Risk Management Tip: Scheduling software – scheduling software can help you keep on top of the various inspection, servicing and auditing cycles of your machinery, ensuring you maintain compliance and can spot any problems quickly. It can also help you with renewing training and licences for staff and make sure your team is fully qualified to use the equipment.

Vehicle Risks

Many of the vehicle related injuries in the engineering industry are caused by delivery lorries or fork-lifts. While some incidents are unavoidable, the large majority of health and safety incidents can be prevented with some simple measures:

Risk Management Tip: Incident Reporting Apps can help enormously with managing Health and Safety risks in Engineering. Data that is collected from incident, accident and near miss reports can be used to identify areas where further health and safety measures are needed.

Using incident managment reporting technology such as a mobile app means that the barriers towards staff reporting incidents are broken down, and you can gather and analyse data to identify where future incidents may occur, and how to prevent them.

Slips, Trips and Falls

Engineering workplaces can be messy with oil, dust and other waste from machines and work processes. As well as this, slips, trips and falls are made all the more dangerous with the risk of falling into machinery or sharp edges. Managing these risks effectively needs attention to detail to identify potential risks.

Risk Management Tip: Risk Assessment Software – Specialist software can streamline the risk assessment process, allowing you to not only save time and resource but also make risk assessment documents shareable to relevant members of your team and collaboratively update your documents as safety measures are implemented.

Electricity and Switchgear

Switchgear and electrical equipment, when maintained properly and used correctly, is generally very safe. The reason it’s one of the most common health and safety risks in Engineering is that when things go wrong, it can go catastrophically wrong, leading to fatalities, life-long illness or serious injury.

Some important things to consider when dealing with health and safety around electricity and switchgear are:

Risk Management Tip: Action tracking software can help make managing the different tasks that go into ensuring your switchgear and electrical equipment is safe far simpler.  Keeping track can be complex, and when things get busy, important tests, training or inspections can be overlooked. Investing in software that allows you to assign team members to certain tasks, track progress, send automatic reminders and escalate when necessary means that you can be sure important actions are completed.

Manual Handling

In engineering, manual handling is an everyday task that your staff will need to be completing safely time and time again. Certain factors can affect how safely your team can move heavy objects around site.

Risk Management Tip: Share best practice documents. Making your risk assessments, best practice documents and training materials shareable means that your team can access any information they may need while carrying out their work from their mobile devices. This can mean that time is saved as best practice information is readily available, and fewer risks are taken in an effort to get them done quickly, as information can be accessed quickly and easily.

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