No matter the industry, fire is the most constant and universal workplace safety hazard. It’s always been that way and it’ll likely always be that way. Obviously, it’s not the only safety concern, especially for manufacturing companies that have many other safety hazards to worry about. However, fire safety is one of the most fundamental safety needs and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Of course, posting fire safety signs and having fire extinguishers on site is a good place to start. But there is so much more to fire safety that companies don’t always recognize. Once you have your fire safety signs in place, here are a few more steps to take that will help prevent fires in the workplace and make sure your employees are prepared for a fire-released emergency.
Assess Your Fire Hazards
The first step in preventing a fire is assessing your fire hazards. Are there certain pieces of equipment or electrical enclosures more at risk for a fire than others? These will be the areas where fire safety signs will be the most needed. You need to make sure that you know where fires are most likely to occur and make sure employees are informed about the possibilities of a fire in certain areas so that they can be vigilant and understand how to limit the risk as much as possible.
Have a Fire Protection System
It may not be such a bad idea to invest in a fire protection system. This can be the first line of defense for a large manufacturing warehouse. A commercial system can provide all of the fire safety signs and equipment that you’ll need in case of a fire. If nothing else, a fire protection system can limit the spread of a fire long enough for employees to get out safely and emergency crews to arrive to take care of the rest.
Conduct Fire Safety Training
As usual, safety training is always a critical step in keeping employees safe. Several times a year, workers should receive formal training on how to spot fire hazards, how to locate and use fire extinguishers, and how to get out of the building quickly if there is a fire. The training sessions don’t have to be that long. But the more frequently you hold fire safety sessions, the more prepared employees will be in an emergency.
Keep a Clean Work Environment
One overlooked part of fire safety is simply keeping your work environment clean and tidy. Keep in mind that boxes, loose paper, and other materials that might be found just lying around can often help a fire spread quicker. Keeping a clean work area will help to mitigate this risk. At the same time, cluttered work areas could block emergency exits or trip up employees while trying to run away from a fire. Of course, this is just one of the many benefits of maintaining a clean and clutter-free workplace.
Give Employees Protective Clothing and Equipment
Last but not least, the right clothing and equipment can be just as important as fire safety signs. Any employee who works near a machine that heats up or creates sparks should wear clothing that’s resistant to fires. In fact, fire-resistant clothing should be considered the same as any other type of personal protective equipment because of its role in helping to prevent fires.
Keep Safe with the Right Software
Of course, fire safety is just one part of the equation when it comes to creating a safe workplace. To make sure all of your bases are covered for fire safety signs and everything else, make sure you have a comprehensive safety system in place. EHS Insight offers software that will manage workplace hazards, safety training, employee communication, and even compliance. In other words, it makes sure that nothing slips through the cracks.
If your company could benefit from more organization and management when it comes to safety, get in touch so we can help you maintain a safe work environment.