Essential Safety Certifications You Need on the Factory Floor
Are your factory floor workers prepared in the event of an accident or emergency? These situations aren’t something any manufacturer wants to think about, but it’s an absolute necessity to plan for them. And while there are emergency protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place that employees are drilled on, it also pays to have workers with safety certifications who can act on instinct when the situation demands it. From first-aid to CPR and beyond, certifications on the floor are invaluable when the time comes to rely on them.
When duty calls
Anything can happen on the factory floor — even despite the strict controls and protocols manufacturers have in place. There’s no telling when someone will fall or when a machine failure will create an unexpected hazard. What happens if someone faints due to illness or becomes injured by a freak accident? These situations are completely unpredictable, which makes the next best course of action reactive.
Do you have an employee on the floor who knows CPR? Who has first-aid experience for more than cuts and scrapes? Someone familiar with proper procedure for treating X, Y, and Z accidents and injuries? The unexpected nature of accidents demands these types of skills, insights, and experience. It’s why certification is essential.
What type of certification?
There’s a never-ending list of certifications that factory workers can obtain. Some can be achieved in an afternoon, while others may take weeks to learn and require an examination to pass. The best place to start is with safety certifications, which are broadly applicable. Some of the most common (and beneficial) include:
- American Heart Association’s Heartsaver® Bloodborne Pathogens Certification
- Board of Certified Safety Professionals’ Safety Trained Supervisor Certification
- CPR and Worksite First-Aid
- National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) Certified Safety Manager
- National Safety’s Council’s Advanced Safety Certificate
- OSHA’s Fall Protection course
Employers also need to look at the specific risks and hazards associated with their workplace when it comes to more specific certifications. At the company level, consider broad training and certification for ISO 45001 Standards. Then, look at specific industry certifications, such as Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certifications if you’re a food manufacturer. The same goes for electrical safety, materials handling, heavy equipment operations, and more.
Make certification a priority
While some employees may take it upon themselves to seek certification, they shouldn’t be counted on to do this alone. It’s up to employers to incentivize and, where necessary, mandate safety certification. This can include bringing programs in-house for training days, subsidizing the cost of certification, or providing raises or bonuses for those who seek and maintain certification.
Above all, a culture of safety will promote cognizance of the fundamentals taught in most safety certification programs. Situational awareness, decisiveness in the face of the unexpected, and a cool, level approach to danger will put factory workers in control over situations — both to prevent and react to them accordingly.