Health in Manufacturing


What does the manufacturing industry refer to?

This sector includes all traditional manufacturing, printing, and production of recorded media, manufacturing of food, textiles and the recycling of waste and scrap. It incorporates the chemical processing sector, wood products and metal goods. 1999 saw eight fatalities in this sector, double the number for the previous year. These were caused mainly by machines and falls from heights.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) concentrate on inspecting places of work which have not been inspected recently, so as to maintain surveillance in the sector.

What are MMMFs?

MMMF are man-made mineral fibres. Many mineral wools contain fibres small enough to breathe in, if they are released into the air. The term covers a wide range of minerals wools, including glass, rock and refractory ceramic fibres. In order to maintain high health and safety standards, the European Union classifies them according to their danger.

A new Irish Code of Practice for Chemical Agents was published during 1999, outlining a list of Occupational Exposure Limits for over 700 chemicals. This Code of Practice is revised and updated on a biennial basis with the next revision due for publication in 2001.

What about regulations relating to machinery?

The term machinery in this case refers to what is generally understood to be machinery as well as additional equipment. For example, production lines, fork lifts trucks, circular saws, meat mincers, and escalators.

What is my employer to do by law in relation to machinery?

  • Check that all machinery has a CE marking. This marking confirms that the product is compliant with a Machinery Directive, as well as with any other new directive.
  • Ensure that there is an EC Declaration of Conformity.
  • Ensure a manual has been included with each machine, giving clear instructions for safe use, storage, assembly and installation, safe handling, adjustment and maintenance.
  • Ensure the instruction manual is written in English.
  • Check that appropriate data on noise and vibration levels have been approved.
  • Ensure that the warning signs are visible.

Which areas in manufacturing cause the most concern?

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