Proper safety training is critical when hiring new employees for your food processing plant.
According to the California Department of Labor Statistics and Research, workers in food-processing plants have a higher likelihood of being hurt on the job than workers in many other industries.1 Reaching across a conveyor, lifting heavy loads, twisting and bending at a work station, performing repetitive tasks, and working in awkward positions – all tasks commonly found in processing plants – are leading risk factors for injury.
Most new employees don’t understand the risks of injury associated with working in a food processing plant when they apply for a job — especially if it is their first time working in the food processing industry. Often, they don’t even know the right safety questions to ask to be prepared for the risks.
During the Interview
The following safety questions2 are best answered during the interview process, so potential employees are fully aware of the safety risks involved in the position before they even accept:
- What are the potential safety risks of the job?
- Is job safety training available?
- What are my responsibilities regarding health and safety?
- What safety equipment do I need to do my job (and what equipment is my responsibility to provide)?
- Do I need to wear personal protective equipment?
First Day on the Job
The following safety questions2 are best answered during the new employee’s first day on the job:
- Review questions answered during the interview process.
- Who is responsible for answering safety related questions?
- What do I do in case of fire or another emergency?
- In case I notice something wrong, to whom should I report it?
- What do I do if I get injured or have an accident?
- Where do I find fire extinguishers, first aid kits, first aid rooms, and emergency assistance?
- How do I shut off processing equipment in the case of an emergency?
While the answers to these 11 safety questions are often covered (and should be covered) in your safety training, it benefits your safety rating and your employees to keep the answers to these questions in front of your employees as much as possible. It will help them be better prepared in times of emergency and keep safety in the forefront of their minds.
Increase Plant Safety
Another way to increase the safety of your employees is to invest in ergonomic and safety solutions, such as non-slip application, gates, guards, ergonomic stands, and lifts.
Fusion Tech offers a wide array of custom designed ergonomic and safety equipment for food processing plants. All of our Fusion Protect solutions are designed to meet the needs of your specific application and integrate seamlessly into your current operation. Everything we manufacture is durable enough to withstand the most demanding environments and protect your employees for years to come.
1. Department of Industrial Relations Cal/OSHA Consultation Service Research and Education Unit. Ergonomics in Action: A Guide to Best Practices for the Food-Processing Industry. California: California Department of Industrial Relations, 2003. Print.
2. Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety. Food Service Workers Safety Guide, 5th Edition. Ontario: Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, 2005. Print.