The packaging industry is a $900-billion sector that continues to grow, employing a huge number of people worldwide. Unfortunately, it can also become a source of hazard and danger for individuals working in the industry. While packaging is an important component of goods that the world uses every day, the health and safety of the people in the industry are equally vital. Here are ways to make the industry a safe and healthy place for its employees and workers.
Devising a Business Safety Strategy
Putting the safety and health of employees must be at the heart of a business. Studies indicate that looking after workers yield significant returns such as fewer accidents, lower productivity loss, fewer absences, and happier employees. Thus, employers that plan and implement a workplace safety strategy are likely to sustain their business because of improved health outcomes. Part of the strategy is to include a workers comp in the event of injuries and even loss of productivity that will help pay for wages and medical bills. This form of insurance protects both workers and businesses from financial loss when employees are hurt or injured while carrying out their duties.
One of the most important considerations in such a plan is to provide effective safety equipment. For example, workers are likely to work or be around large pieces of machinery that equate to higher levels of risk. Hence, it is critical that equipment is fitted with sensors, emergency shut down, or appropriate signage to protect workers. Maintenance is also an important component to keep workers safe as the provision of protective and safety gear will reduce the chances of accidents, falls, and slips.
Addressing Common Risks
There are many risks faced by those employed in the packaging industry. Fire, which is a common incident in the sector, is another consideration and thus, employees must wear top-notch gear of quality that is higher than normal protective materials. Hearing protection, proper footwear and clothing are other critical gear that employers must focus on to improve the safety and health of workers.
Another common occupational hazard that workers face is chemical burns. Considering that they work with hazardous materials in packaging, they run the risk of inhaling sawdust, chemical residues, and other stuff that can damage their health or cause illnesses. They are also at risk of burns that can cause long-term complications such as chronic pain or scarring. Burns can lead to blindness while accidentally swallowing chemicals will damage the gastrointestinal tract that can lead to permanent disability. Hence, it is in the interest of the company to ensure that workers not only wear protective gear but also limit human intervention when handling chemicals. An automated process is a smart solution that can address the issue of filling packaging with chemicals while fire prevention is best done by avoiding the use of equipment that ignites or sparks reducing fire incidents.
Worker health and safety in the packaging industry matter. By providing a safe and healthy environment and practicing safety protocols, both workers and employers win.