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Be sure newcomers understand safety issues

It’s refreshing to say that we’re beginning to see a upturn in manufacturing – at least in some sectors and parts of the country. With the increase in work comes the need for new people. Unfortunately, some companies are finding it difficult to find people with shop experience, let alone CNC experience. For this reason, they must hire people with little or no previous experience in a shop environment and training them from scratch.

One of the first issues you must deal with is safety. Remember that safety practices you take for granted – or feel are common sense – are unknown to people that have never been in a machine shop. It’s likely that any previous working conditions they have experienced include no safety-related issues. That is, the idea that something in their work environment could be dangerous may be a new concept for them.

Be sure that initial training topics – or their orientation to your company – include safety issues. Begin by explaining general safety practices – like the proper use of safety equipment (safety glasses, gloves, etc.), how to avoid hazards when moving from place to place in the shop (staying within yellow lines, never taking short-cuts, avoidance of vehicles, and use of mirrors), and the meaning of all safety signs.

Be sure they understand, of course, more specific safety issues related to the tasks they will be assigned. And again, don’t assume anything.

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