One of the most important things you can do to help improve safety is to help ensure people working in potentially hazardous areas are easily visible. Being able to see where people are can help to prevent accidents and generally make working much easier.
In many cases, it may be necessary to take proactive actions to help improve the overall visibility of employees. This can be done by having them wear safety vests. These vests are made with bright colors and reflective tape or cloth attached to them so that they stand out, even when there isn’t very much good light in the area.
There are many times when safety vests should be worn. Review the following five areas that are present in many manufacturing facilities. These are jobs or activities that occur on a regular basis, but many facilities don’t think to require a safety vest to be worn, which can lead to accidents or injuries.
1. Warehouse Environments with Forklifts Pulling Orders or Stocking Inventory
Most warehouses are extremely busy, with products of all types being put on shelves or pulled out for shipping. In most cases, this type of activity is done by a combination of people walking through the area on foot and people driving forklifts to transport heavier products.
Having people and vehicles operating in the same area can be extremely dangerous, which is why it is so important to ensure that everyone is able to see each other clearly. Obviously this will start with having those who are walking on the warehouse floor wearing safety vests. These vests will allow those who are driving the forklifts or other vehicles to see them much more easily.
In addition to having those who are walking the floor wearing these vests, however, you should also have the drivers of the vehicles wear them too. By requiring these drivers to wear the vest, those who are on the ground will be able to easily see which vehicles might start moving much more easily. This can help to prevent accidents and keep everyone safe.
Another group of people who should always be wearing safety vests is the maintenance department. This is a unique department in many ways, which is why it is so important that they are always highly visible. The following are some of the many important reasons why visibility is so important for anyone working in the maintenance area.
Unpredictable Work Location – The maintenance department team will work throughout the facility, fixing things that are broken or need work as needed. This means that they may be somewhere that other employees would not expect, so it is important that they are highly visible.
Dangerous Work – There are many times when the maintenance employees will be working in dangerous areas, such as inside machines or near electrical equipment. Making sure they are easy to see can help ensure people don’t engage a machine while they are working on it.
Loud Equipment – Maintenance individuals may be working with loud equipment during their jobs, which may mean they will be wearing ear plugs or other hearing protection. Whenever one of the five senses is limited, it is essential to do all you can to make it up with another.
Dark Environments – Since maintenance employees often work in out of the way areas, there is typically not very much light, which can make them hard to see. Wearing a safety vest will help to catch any light that is present and reflect it so they are easier to see.
3. Shipping and Receiving Dock
The shipping and receiving dock in most facilities is quite busy. There are things coming and going at all times, which can make it a very dangerous area. In addition, there will be trucks moving in and out of the area as well as indoor vehicles like high-lows or forklifts. With all this movement, it is absolutely essential to ensure everyone is as visible as possible.
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Combining the benefits of a safety vest with the reflective floor tape can help ensure everyone can see each other, and anticipate where they will be. This can help to minimize the hazards of working in this type of area, which should reduce the number of accidents.
4. Inside Powered Industrial Vehicles
Anytime someone will be using any type of powered industrial vehicle, it is important that they put on a safety vest before setting foot in the vehicle. Since the vehicle’s cabin will be obstructed by the door and other parts of the vehicle, it is important to do all you can to help keep the driver as easy to see as possible.
The biggest benefits will come from when the vehicle is actually not in motion for a time. Whether this is just before the driver starts moving, or when they are stopped for a moment to perform another activity. People on the ground around a moving vehicle know that they need to be careful. When the vehicle is not moving, however, they might think they can safely walk closely around it.
If the driver doesn’t see them, they might engage the vehicle, resulting in an accident. By requiring that the driver wear a safety vest, the people on the ground will see that someone is in the industrial vehicle, and take the proper precautions. Since it will be clear that someone is in the vehicle, they will know that it might start moving at any time, so they can avoid walking directly in front of, or behind it.
5. Plant Visitors
There are many times when a facility has people walking through on tours or to perform inspections. This is especially common with potential new customers, who want to see where their products might be made.
While plant visitors will always be accompanied by a facility employee, they are still at a higher risk than the average person. This is because they don’t know the way the facility normally operates, so they might not know what types of hazards to look out for. They might not, for example, know what the different facility safety signs mean, so they may walk in an area that could expose them to some risk.
Having them wear a safety vest will help to ensure that the employees can see them when going through their normal daily tasks. In addition, requiring them to wear these vests will help to show them just how seriously your facility takes safety, which is always a good thing whether it is an inspector, a potential customer, or someone else.
Visibility is Essential
People working in facilities often take visibility for granted, until an accident occurs. In order to help minimize any risk of not seeing people in the area, you should always take precautions to improve visibility at all times. This starts with providing proper lighting in all work environments, but it is equally important to have people wearing safety vests whenever they are in areas where they might be hard to see.