Safety of people

The employer is required to ensure that the areas in which employees work and the machinery they use is safe. However, if employees are negligent in reporting faults or in cleaning operations etc. it is possible that an otherwise safe situation becomes unsafe.

Sources of danger

  • Condition of floors

Dirty floors which have become wet or greasing are slippery. They should be cleaned or dried without delay.

  • Condition of machine guards

Moving parts, especially those where a nip is involved, must be guarded to prevent hands or clothing becoming trapped. It is particularly dangerous to run a machine with these guards removed. Experience shows that accidents involving machines occur more often to "experienced" operatives. They become over confident and try to overcome problems by running machines with guards removed.

  • Condition of electrical connections.

Most machinery is driven and controlled by electricity. For safety and other reasons the connections and other electronic components are housed in locked cabinets or under guards. The danger of electricity cannot be seen so it is very dangerous to remove guards or to leave cabinet doors open. Faults with electrical apparatus must be reported to management or responsible engineers.

  • Strain injuries

Back strain is a very common injury experienced by factory workers. It is unpleasant for the person who receives it and a potential cost to the employer due to the need for sickness leave.

Back strain derives from physical effort done incorrectly or carelessly. Employees should encouraged to think before moving and lifting bags, boxes or pieces of machinery. If they are too heavy they should get help, if the floor is slippery they should take extra care. Employees accepting help should make it clear to their helper what is expected and assess whether the helper is capable of doing what is requested.

  • Dust

Dirt is defined as material in the wrong place! Dust soon becomes dirt. It is unpleasant and may be dangerous to breath and it may accumulate and fall into containers bearing food or ingredients.

Factory staff must ensure that their actions cause as little dust as possible and if material is spilt it should be cleaned up without delay.

  • Building maintenance.

When repairs and decoration is being done it is essential that nearby production equipment is covered with sheets so that particles of metal, glass, masonry and paint do not fall into places where they could later be included with dough or product. A magnet provides a useful means of collecting most metal particles. If metal drilling is involved to place a U magnet around the place where the hole is to be drilled will ensure collection of the metal particles