5 Tips for a Safe Summer in Manufacturing

The last month of summer is upon us, and the temperature keeps rising! School children may not want to see the end of August, but for laborers in manufacturing plants, it means a safer, more comfortable environment.

If you are looking for ways to keep team members safe in hot working conditions, check out these tips below:

  1. Encourage Hydration – As we mentioned in a previous blog, hydration in critical to remaining safe and healthy when working in any condition, but is a crucial factor when working in extreme heat. Doing manual labor in high temperatures requires more water (nothing with high sugar like pop or energy drinks) to replenish what the body loses by sweating.
  2. Let Employees Take Breaks – Heat exhaustion will slow down manufacturing far more than adding a few more breaks to the day will. If someone shows signs of confusion, cramping, an inconsistent pulse or clammy skin, get them to a cool environment immediately. If not removed from the dangerous situation, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, a potentially fatal condition.
  3. Create Air Flow – If there is not a good way to open windows or doors in your plant, make sure you have large fans to ventilate the space. Keeping the air circulating is a good way to cool down a work space while also alleviating some of the discomfort humidity creates.
  4. Inform Team Members about Proper Nutrition – Lunches with high calories, heavy carbohydrates or high fat content can make employees sick when working in the heat. Encourage lighter meals that will provide energy without making a team member feel sluggish. Be sure not to go too far on the other end of this spectrum; without enough calories, employees are at risk for passing out.
  5. Ask – Some team members may not feel comfortable asking for breaks, more water or any additional help they may need to operate under safe conditions. Communicate how seriously you take safety, and make sure they understand the risks of hot and humid conditions. Be a leader in promoting safety and encouraging other team members to speak up if they see someone showing signs of heat exhaustion.

Asking isn't just for team members, though. We are here to help you with your safety concerns! Our Cleveland plant, which just celebrated its first year with Millwood, also celebrated a year of accident free days. Aristo Panas, our plant manager at Glenwillow Operations, runs a safety-first plant that has been accident free for 9 years. Wish us luck for the 10 year anniversary next month!

It’s important to stay focused on safety as we near the end of the summer. August is the hottest month of the year at many of Millwood’s locations, and it requires the strongest commitment to safety standards.   

Author: Paige Greene