Steel fabrication today is a booming business. At Weller we understand this more than anyone. Sales and production have been on the rise. While there may the occasional decrease; it never stays there for long. That’s because as a nation we are using steel in record numbers. Steel fabrication companies are putting in countless hours to produce the products in demand.
With the demand high for fabricated products, it’s easy to overlook some of the basics of safety. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 there were roughly 40 fatalities pertaining to someone who worked in the steel or fabrication industry. While this number may seem low the truth is that fatalities can be avoided. Safety seems like a common sense sort of thing but in the fabrication industry, the fast pace and desire to produce products to meet productivity goals, can often lead to mistakes which can lead to accidents.
Safety always needs to be first and foremost in the workplace. No one wants to cause an accident or worse a death. Remembering the basics of safety can help prevent accidents on the job. Things to remember include:
- ALWAYS Wear Protective Head Gear – Hard hats can be a nuisance but they were developed for a reason; to protect you. Many fatalities would have been prevented if the person had been wearing a hard hat. When it comes to steel fabrication and erection, things can often fall or be dropped by mistake. A hard hat is designed to protect one of your body’s precious commodities, your brain. While you may be subjected to an injury from a falling item, your head is protected in most cases by the use of a hard hat. A piece of hard pipe can be a deadly weapon if it falls from the right height. So protect yourself by wearing a hard hat at all times.
- Clean Up All Spills – Spills like oil, lubricants, etc. can be a hazard if left unattended. As soon as a spill is detected it needs to be cleaned up immediately. In addition, depending on the substance spilled, you may need to clean the area with an additional product to prevent slick spots. This is often the case when oil is spilled or a similar slippery substance.
- Use Safety Equipment – There are various pieces of safety equipment that are available to protect you and your coworkers. If you are welding then using safety glasses will protect your eyes from sparks. In addition there is protective clothing to protect the rest of your body from these sparks. Welding burns can be severe if not attended to so protect yourself.
Safety is not an option in the workplace. It has to be adhered to in order to prevent injuries and fatalities. Following these simple steps can help prevent many of the accidents in this industry.