Health and Safety in Manufacturing

Making Manufacturing Safer

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Making Manufacturing Safer

Poor health and safety practices make the headlines whenever there’s an industrial accident. These stories are never pleasant reading and often leave you with more questions than answers. In manufacturing, we have to ensure that facilities are safe, and one thing is for sure – mistakes can be costly in more ways than one and could end up with your company making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Fortunately, large scale industrial accidents are not commonplace; however, more minor workplace accidents can still cause significant disruption and cost. Identifying hazards is the first step to creating a safe working environment and minimising risks.

Material Handling

When manufacturing processes utilise precision strip or wire, inherent risks are created by handling the raw materials. We’ve outlined below some of the key risks to consider and how we can help you mitigate them to create a safe working environment.

Sharp Edges and burrs
During the coil rolling process, strip metal naturally forms burrs along the narrow edge. These burrs are small, sharp bumps that occur on the edges of steel strip and coil and are not necessarily visible to the human eye. They can cause a variety of unwanted problems, including injury to workers, damage to equipment, poor appearance, and poor performance. Though somewhat safer than strip, wire can be affected by burrs and equally requires careful handling to reduce the risk of injury. While wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is a good practice, this is unlikely to offer complete protection from sharp edges.

According to the HSE,

“manual handling of articles with sharp edges cause as many as a third of all accidents in some engineering workshops resulting in cuts, abrasions, infected wounds, dermatitis, amputations and occasionally fractures.”

Solution: Deburring and Edge Dressing
Available on request for both strip and wire, edge rounding and dressing help reduce burrs by removing the unwanted sharp edges. By making the material safer and easier to handle, manufacturing efficiency increases, providing a cost-effective and safe solution to manufacturers.

At the Knight Group, we have five dedicated edge dressing lines using bespoke tungsten carbide tooling. Each edge profiling machine can produce the most popular round and square edge shapes and custom contoured edge profiles to meet the most exacting requirements.

With the heavy investment in our bespoke machinery and a wealth of experience in our team, our machines can offer precision processing in high volumes with fast turnaround times. See here to discover more about our edge dressing capabilities for strip and how they can help you. We can also deburr wire at our impressive wire production facility.

Lifting and Material Handling Injuries
Cuts and abrasions are not the only workplace injuries causing a significant impact on manufacturers. In the HSE’s report published in December 2021, work-related musculoskeletal disorders affected 470,000 workers, primarily due to manual handling.

Solution: Smaller Coils and Spools or Cut to Length,

With an extensive range of processing options available, manufacturers can choose from a range of solutions to best suit their needs, including low weight coils and cut to length.

Cut to Length
Whether using precision strip or wire, a simple solution is to have your material cut to length. We offer bespoke cut to length processing with material cut quickly and with great accuracy. All material is quality checked and then carefully packed in bespoke packaging, arriving machine ready and reducing handling requirements. An added benefit of our cut to length wire, is that the process involves shocking the wire, rather than directly cutting it. Similar to deburring, this removes the sharp ends, making it safer to handle.

Bespoke Coil and Spool Sizes
Our motto is “your material your way,” because we like to offer manufacturers maximum flexibility in how their material is prepared. With our in-house production facilities for precision strip and wire, we can supply smaller coils and spools, which are quicker and easier to move as and when needed. Alternatively, with our traverse winding lines, we can offer oscillated coils that hold larger volumes of material and require less movement overall. If you need help deciding which material processing services are right for you, then get in touch with our team of experts; they are to help.

Keeping your employees healthy and safe on the job site is crucial to your business’s success — not only for today, but for tomorrow. We’ve provided some practical reasons why you’d want an edge prevented from having a burr or have your material cut to size, but it all boils down to safety. A burr-free edge and practical solutions to moving your material around could prevent significant damage to your employees and create a more efficient production line. If you’re manufacturing something that requires safe edges or bespoke sizes, reach out to our sales team for a quote.

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