OSHA Safety Guidelines for Factories

Without factories in America and worldwide, consumers could say goodbye to the thousands of products that are used on a daily basis. From the refrigerator that stores one’s food to the car that gets a person to where they need to go to the clothing that protects against the elements and more, factories and factory workers are to thank. While the world as we know it would not exist but for factory workers, factories are an especially dangerous place to be employed. Common injuries and accidents for factory workers often include, but aren’t limited to, contact with objects and equipment, transportation incidents, repetitive motion injuries, slip and fall accidents, exposure to harmful substances, and more.

To help keep our nation’s workers safe, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has designed numerous safety guidelines and standards for factory operations. Consider a few of these standards, learn where you can get more information, and call OSHA Injury Attorney if you’re a factory worker who has been injured on the job or who has questions about the OSHA standards.

OSHA Regulations for Factories

First, it’s important to note that while there are a number of general regulations that may apply to a wide range of factory types, there may also be specific standards that are applicable to specific types of factories. With that in mind, some general factory standards include:

  • Safety training. In most industries where heavy equipment and machinery are used, OSHA requires that employees undergo a thorough safety training. In addition to training for the use of machinery or equipment—such as forklifts—training may also be required for things like heat stress management, chemical management, disposal methods for hazardous materials, and more. It is critical that all workers are properly trained on these topics; a lack of training could result in a serious injury.
  • Hazardous chemicals. Many factories use a range of hazardous chemicals to produce goods, consumer products, cleaners, dyes, and much more. Unfortunately, exposure to hazardous chemicals and substances can lead to occupational illness and injury, including chemical burns, respiratory complications, and even cancer and other fatal diseases in some cases. There are OSHA standards for handling, storing, and labeling all hazardous chemicals.
  • Access to and use of protective equipment. Factory workers may be at risk of exposure to falling objects, loud noises, inhalation of dangerous fumes or dust, sharp objects, and more. As such, factory workers must have access to protective equipment and must be trained on how to use the protective equipment correctly, and the use of protective equipment should be mandated within the workplace. Common types of protective equipment that factory workers may benefit from include hard hats, closed-toe boots, gloves, safety eyewear/goggles, and masks.
  • Hazard assessment. Finally, OSHA requirements mandate that employers assess and identify potential hazards on a factory floor. Employers have a responsibility to protect employees from avoidable hazards such as falling objects, unsafe walking surfaces, unguarded machinery, etc.

There are specific factory safety requirements for apparel and footwear manufacturing, battering manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, concrete and concrete products manufacturing, lubricant manufacturing, meatpacking, food processing, fireworks handling, metal manufacturing, the plastic industry, poultry processing, the printing industry, textiles manufacturing, and more. If you work in one of these specific industries and want to learn more about OSHA safety regulations and standards for that industry, you can access more information here.

Your Rights As a Factory Worker

If you work in a factory, regardless of the type of factory, you have certain rights. You have the right to a safe workplace. You have a right to safety equipment and safety training. You have the right to a workplace in which your employer adheres to OSHA safety standards. And you have the right to report an accident and injury without retaliation. You also have the right to be compensated for losses you suffer as a result of an on-the-job injury.

The laws related to OSHA regulations are confusing to navigate, as are the rights of workers who are injured when working in a factory. To help you make sense of the various rules and understand your options for compensation if you are injured at work, it’s important to consider working with a skilled workplace injury attorney.

At the office of OSHA Injury Attorney, our goal is to support workers like you. If you have questions about your rights or the laws that protect you at work, please don’t hesitate to call our law office for a free consultation. You can reach us by phone or online at your convenience.