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Top 5 Health Hazards in the Manufacturing Sector

Top 5 Health Hazards in the Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing sector is one of the most extensive and complex industries. The sector consists of different types of operations.  It includes the production of food, beverages, textiles, and automotive. It also includes metal fabrication, wood fabrication, and printing. However, each manufacturing business consists of different processes.

Workers in this sector are vulnerable to a number of hazards. including noise pollution, frequent falls, improper disposal of chemicals due to lack of integrated waste management systems and many more.  However, each hazard may vary depending on the manufacturing business involved. Some of them can lead to illnesses, serious injuries or death. Regardless of the manufacturing business involved, there are some common safety hazards facing this sector as a whole.

The top 5 common hazards include:

  • Noise

Noise is a widespread workplace hazard yet one of the most ignored. Many of the manufacturing industries expose their workers to a certain degree of continued noise for long hours, especially from the machines. Such workers are at a risk of acquiring permanent hearing loss or damage to the hearing system. Workers should not be exposed to long hours of noise and if so, noise protection equipment should be availed.

  • Falls

Falls have been the leading cause of injuries and death in the construction industry. However, fall-related hazards have also been reported in the manufacturing industry. High places are one of the biggest hazards in the workplace, a majority of them caused by overconfidence and ignorance. Some workers may overlook the importance of using fall-protection gear in the workplace.  To prevent these, workers should be careful especially when working in high places.

  • Confined places

A confined workplace can lead to poor oxygen circulation. Poor aeration can lead to suffocation which can result in death. To avoid confined-space health hazards, the installation of appropriate vents is necessary. On the other hand, rescue equipment should also be put in place, e.g. use of face-masks.

  • Heavyweight Machinery

Health hazards related to machinery and equipment operations can be due to carelessness, lack of knowledge or overconfidence when operating them. Faulty machines can also result in accidents resulting in death or serious injuries. For this reason, all machines whether small or heavy should have guardrails to protect their operators.

  • Chemicals

Some manufacturing industries expose workers to some dangerous chemicals. Improper handling or use of such chemicals can result in dangerous reactions including explosions and serious burns. The management should ensure that all chemicals have labels.  The workers are should also read and observe all safety precautions before using them.

Protective gear like safety boots, gloves, and face-masks are also a requisite in the workplace. Workers should be taught to identify the symptoms of a chemical exposure so that they or their colleagues can get fast and the correct first aid in case of an accident. Most importantly, industries should come up with integrated waste management systems to dispose of the waste chemicals correctly.


Manufacturing industries usually have their own safety programs. However, accidents relating to chemicals, falls, heavyweight machinery, confined places, and noise are prone to occur from time to time. The management of these manufacturing plants can minimize these hazards by continuously educating the workers, reviewing the processes, and using protective equipment. In this way, the manufacturing plant becomes a safer place for the workers thereby increasing their productivity. You can get more relevant information by visiting

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