How important is health and safety in the workplace?
Health and safety exists to protect workers. A simple statement, but in reality, it is more complicated.
The umbrella of “Health & Safety” is to keep staff safe, however, even with legislation such as the Health and Safety at work Act 1974 in place, workplace incidents occur, and the prevention of these incidents is paramount. The legislation highlights the generic principles of health and safety in the workplace. These principles must be followed by the employer to ensure that all possible measures are put in place to prevent or reduce risks in the workplace environment; it is the employer’s duty.
Even in a pandemic, with many of us working from home, employers have a duty of care to ensure that the workspaces for their employees are safe and secure and adhere to the legislation.
In 2019/2020, over 693,000 workers sustained non-fatal injuries in the workplace. Over 168,000 were off work for over 7 working days and 30% of the reported incidents were down to slips, trips or falls.
Which igus® products can help with health and safety in the workplace?
Many igus® products can help with safety aspects in working environments, especially areas such as factories, production plants and warehouses.
One of the newest products that would prevent trip hazards is the new e-spool® flex 2.0.
One example of how this product could prevent occupational hazards is for a programmer taking a teach panel from a holder on the machine. Ordinarily, they would drag the cable along behind them, which would potentially remain on the floor. The cable represents a trip hazard and also could get damaged if run over by industrial vehicles. Worst case scenario, situations such as these can shut down entire production lines or even the plant itself, costing a lot of time and money.
With the e-spool® flex, the cable reel allows cables to be guided from start to end without slip rings or other connecting elements. This is made possible by a spiral guide which reels the cable in a controlled manner when it is rolled up. Since the cable is retracted, there are no loose cables, and no hazard.
How can industry 4.0 intelligence help with health and safety?
If technology could inform of wear before it became detrimental and damaging to a machine, surely it would prevent people having to stick their hands in to inspect for wear or to work at height to repair raised working areas? That’s precisely what igus® Smart plastics do. The in-built technology determines when the part is showing signs of wear and alerts the control box. Customers can then schedule maintenance at a suitable time and can safely ensure that the machine is on scheduled downtime. All safely from ground level.
Every company and employer has a duty of care to protect their staff, so if you spot a hazard, a cable lying around, something broken, let them know that there are solutions that can help prevent such injuries.