The path of the materials through the workplace constitutes a risk in the working environment. The layout of the manufacturing process should be planned with as little risk of accidents as possible.
Layout means in this case,
- the way different sections and processes are arranged in relationship to each other.
- the arrangement of machinery and
- equipment within each work area.
According to the changing of working conditions, new jobs, products, materials, tools and working methods are being introduced all the time. These changes mean that our experience and the standards of safety we have built up in the past must be reviewed and brought up to date. Faulty technical equipment is one of the major cause of problems and the gaps in our knowledge are not the only cause of industrial accidents.
Safety guards are essential parts of the machines. Working without necessary guards or removing them is dangerous.
The basic rule is that the machinery and other technical equipment should be constructed, placed and used in such a way that they do not constitute a risk to health or cause accidents. In other words, the machinery and equipment should be safe during all operating conditions and have effective safety guards at all dangerous points. If possible these guards should be an integrated part of the machinery so that the worker/operator is not tempted to remove them.
Operations which generate noise and vibrations should be separated from the rest of the manufacturing process. And also, the facility should be designed so that it functions well under special conditions, such as an abnormally high work load over a short period of time.
A good planning of safe routes which is based on simplicity and easy understanding is the key to a safe workplace because many accidents happen while materials or goods are being transported around the workplace. So, therefore, the vehicles and equipment used inside the premises should be included in inspections.
Suitable access routes are required for access to mechanical equipment. Access to hoists and overhead cranes for service or repair work is also essential. Safe storage and parking areas should be provided. Emergency exits should be kept clear of all materials and equipment.
The following are some ideas
- Be planned so that there is no danger of vehicle collision.
- Be positioned a safe distance from fixed workplaces.
- Have adequate lighting on stairs and ramps.
- Be clear of obstacles.
- Have pedestrians at a safe distance from vehicles.
- Have lines or markings which clearly show where they lead to.
- Be wide enough for traffic.
- Have handrails on the stairs if there are more than three steps.
- Have a guard barrier where there is a risk of falling.
- Be adapted for handicapped or disabled persons.