Operations Managers Key to Safety in Manufacturing

 Operations Managers Key to Safety in Manufacturing
 Operations Managers Key to Safety in Manufacturing
Operations Managers Key to Safety in Manufacturing

Operations Managers Key to Safety in Manufacturing

“Safety is a company-wide effort, but the task of ensuring the safety of these protocols, and the employees who run them, falls largely on the shoulders of operations managers.”

Excerpt from Dupont Sustainable Solutions, Integrated Safety Management Training Workshop

According to The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the number of American workers who die each year on the job is decreasing steadily. In 1970, 38 workers died per day. In 2015, that number decreased to 13 deaths per day. Worker injuries and illnesses also are down from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972, to 3.0 workers per 100 in 2015. The implementation of industry safety standards, education and training have helped make workplaces safer. Another factor that may have an impact is operations managers in the manufacturing industry.

Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Workplace Safety

The manufacturing industry includes many companies that transform raw materials into new products for customers around the globe. The processes involved with taking raw materials and transforming them, either mechanically, physically, or chemically, involve activities with varying levels of potential danger. Operations Managers, aside from handling daily operations such as purchasing, managing workflow, and supervising employees, also must create a culture of safety. They create this culture by:

  • Enforcing all safety measures to prevent injuries
  • Posting safety checklists and regulations
  • Keeping all heavy machinery in good working order
  • Complying with regulatory Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and company specific safety policies and procedures
  • Providing safety, health, and accident prevention training for employees
  • Inspecting work areas, products, and employee work habits
  • Following protocol when investigating incidents

Understanding legal liabilities, improving factory floor operations, and maintaining certifications, are just some of the actions operations managers take to decrease workplace accidents.

Encouraging Worker Participation

Effective operations managers understand that, in order to create and maintain a successful culture, they must have the active support of their workers. A few ways of doing this are by:

  • Integrating safety procedures into all routine work duties and processes
  • Involving workers in creating, implementing, and maintaining various safety measures and programs
  • Encouraging participation from workers and all levels of leadership in safety awareness programs
  • Encouraging workers to share their ideas about how to minimize danger, reduce injuries, and mitigate damage

Operations managers combine their technical expertise, management and leadership abilities, and in depth knowledge of safety laws, guidelines, policies, and procedures to create workplaces that are productive, profitable, and most importantly safe. Learn more about our Masters in Operations Management by clicking here.