This document focuses on reporting/non-reporting workplace injury issues. OSHA says that “Reporting a work-related injury or illness is a core employee right, and retaliating against a worker for reporting an injury or illness is illegal discrimination under section 11(c).” Of course, smart companies want to know if there are unsafe conditions or practices. But what if your safety rewards program is discouraging employees from reporting incidents, or even near-misses?
Safety is always a concern for industrial operations, but visitors take the dangers to another level.
In a fast-paced distribution center, there is plenty of forklift traffic, moving conveyors, packing machines, carousels, and dock doors. Same with manufacturing; you have all kinds of production machinery, welding (human and robotic), and heavy material being handled, stacked, or processed, along with the forklifts and other handling equipment. It’s hard enough to keep your own people – the ones who should know the lay of the land – safe in these environments. But what about visitors who haven’t had the benefit of your safety training and the situational awareness that your employees develop over time?
President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on manufacturing in the United States – which everyone, no matter their political persuasion, can agree is a vital part of our economy. Countries that don’t make things aren’t world powers, period.
And the numbers, on the surface, can look dire. According to Forbes Magazine, 22 million manufacturing jobs were lost globally between 1995 and 2002. The U.S. lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in that timeframe.
The common belief is that these jobs were palletized and shipped east to China or south to Mexico. While that has happened – we’ve seen it in our client base more than once – it’s only part of the story. The reality is more complicated, and may help us to understand why manufacturing output has increased in the U.S. while jobs have been reduced. Manufacturing output didn’t just grow; it rocketed 30% since 1995. China – the supposed vampire of manufacturing employment – has lost a whopping 16 million manufacturing jobs.
In a word, the “culprit” (if you want to call it that) is automation. Robotics is less expensive and significantly more capable – and continues to improve. The same goes for other automation of other kinds.
The American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) released the results of its 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study, identifying key trends affecting the industry and steps U.S. manufacturers can take now to be successful in the next generation. Some of the findings are fairly predictable, while others may surprise you. In particular, you have to consider people at all levels. Are your key players likely to retire or take other positions over the next decade or so? How can you prevent that? What can you do to further develop them?
For decades, Cisco-Eagle has served the needs of heavy manufacturers, particularly those in the energy sector – oil, chemical, pipe and tubing, and other industrial based customers. With our operations in Texas and Oklahoma, that’s only natural. We have recently released a brochure outlining our capabilities,“Material Handling for Manufacturing Operations.” (PDF, opens a new window). This is a brief overview of our capabilities with the kind of handling equipment these companies require:
This is a great video from WorkSafeBC on how to prevent forklift injuries from a pedestrian’s point of view.
As a pedestrian in a forklift environment, it’s your responsibility to keep yourself safe. Anyone who runs a warehouse or industrial facility understands the dangers, and drivers should be trained. But do you train the pedestrians, the order pickers, the managers, and vendors who sometimes roam your facility?
It’s been the big story in manufacturing for more than a decade: companies are sending plants offshore to take advantage of inexpensive labor. But according to Exel Logistics, the advantages of manufacturing overseas have waned over the last few years. Will U.S. companies begin to bring manufacturing operations home, faced with increasing burdens and decreasing ROI on their overseas facilities?
As Spring kicks into gear, the heat of summer hasn’t hit yet in most places. The time to implement facility changes that could help you control climate costs and provide a better atmosphere for your operations is now, not once the weather has changed. It’s not just a matter of air systems; smaller, incremental changes at entry points or near work areas can have a big impact on worker comfort and productivity. Theses changes can also save you money.
As temperatures climb, more air conditioning isn’t always the best, or even the most effective solution – and it’s certainly not the most cost effective.
This video is a short few minutes, and features vertical reciprocating conveyors implemented by Cisco-Eagle at defense contractor Electric Boat, Inc. The company manufactures submarines at its Groton, CT facility.