Canadian Manufacturing

Winter safety tips for manufacturing fabrication shops

by Emily Newton, Editor-in-Chief, Revolutionized   

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People will be less likely to leave their workplaces and look for other opportunities if they feel those environments support their well-being.

Ignoring or avoiding these topics and the related manufacturing safety training can lead to extremely costly lessons, a hard truth we must abide by. (Adobe Stock)

The cold weather brings additional safety risks with it. That’s why now is an excellent time to put winter safety tips into practice and encourage everyone in the fabrication shop to do the same. Winter hazards in manufacturing are addressable risks, but people must be aware of them and be proactive to reduce those threats. Here are some good starting points.

Check That the Ventilation System Is Suitable for Winter

Utilizing a high-efficiency fume and dust collection system is a proven and practical way to keep fumes under control in the winter. It doesn’t take long for a fume cloud to build up in a closed facility, especially during periods of high welding volume.

One option is to leave windows and doors open for most of the day. However, that approach can quickly leave workers feeling uncomfortable when temperatures plunge. Thus, a ventilation system is an essential part of winter weather safety.

There are also some telltale signs that the current ventilation system is not working well enough or that the shop needs to start using one. For example, fumes and dust may be visible in the environment, or workers may complain of breathing problems.


Maintain a Healthy Work Environment

People will be less likely to leave their workplaces and look for other opportunities if they feel those environments support their well-being. That reality goes beyond, but includes, efforts to reduce winter hazards in manufacturing.

Employees want confidence they can go to work without getting sick or hurt. That’s the case any time of the year. However, when people follow winter safety tips, they can reduce the seasonal risks.

Consider how slips and falls may be more likely to occur in a fabrication shop during the winter because people may be coming into the building after encountering wet and icy conditions outside. A good way to deal with that is to invest in mats that will absorb water and promote better traction.

It’s also essential to keep fabrication shop workers warm and comfortable. Doing that supports a healthy work environment and relates to winter safety tips. That’s because people are more likely to lose their focus if they feel uncomfortable due to the cold. Then, their work quality will suffer, too.

Keep the Fabrication Shop Tidy

Some types of welding are arguably more dangerous than others. For example, underwater welders get exposed to hazardous materials and are at risk of drowning. However, threats exist for metal fabricators working above ground, too. You can mitigate several of these by maintaining a tidy environment.

Ensuring workers know to put things back in their proper places after using them is a simple but achievable starting point. Then, the environment won’t get cluttered, making it more likely to stay organized for the long term. Another easy-to-implement option is to install hangers or racks so people can store their winter-weather clothes in one place after entering the shop.

When people can move around the shop freely without encountering obstacles, that goes a long way in keeping them safe. It’s also useful to keep an eye on entryways and other heavily trafficked areas so they don’t become slippery. Storing a mop near the door and using it as needed reduces slip-and-fall risks.

Apply These Winter Safety Tips Today

Making a conscious effort to minimize winter hazards in manufacturing will pay off by supporting better productivity in the workforce. Proceeding thoughtfully when utilizing winter safety tips is a great way to keep everyone safe this winter and beyond.


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