The Importance Of Health And Safety Manual Printing

Health and safety measures are vitally important in any workplace, and especially so in industrial and manufacturing environments and premises. One such environment is the print industry – whilst productivity, accuracy and timeframes are important for any business, these aspects should never be allowed to take priority over staff and employee safety. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) state that most common types of accidents within the print industry businesses are down to physical mishaps such as trips/slips, manual handling accidents and machinery misuse – here are some considerations for the prevention of such incidents and threats to safety and wellbeing in these environments:  

Control Of Hazardous Substances

The print industry involves the handling and use of many hazardous substances – the four main components of printing ink are resins, solvents, pigments, and other additives, all of which can cause injury and health problems if staff are exposed to them. As well as the obvious skin problems caused by direct contact with these substances, exposure to these elements can lead to dizziness, drowsiness, and even potential damage to internal organs! When in use in the printing process, these different elements can produce vaporous gases, dust, fumes, and powders, again all of which are potentially dangerous to a person’s health and wellbeing! It is essential that print companies regularly perform risk assessments of their processes and materials along with sensible physical safeguards such as establishing and maintaining clear areas around any of the ‘heavy’ print machinery involved. The regulatory body COSHH – the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health – lay out specific and rigid guidelines with regards to these issues, and all companies are required to adhere to their instructions in controlling exposure to these materials in any workplace environment in which they are utilised.  

Manual Handling

Manual handling events such as lifting, carrying, and pulling various items are common causes of accidents and physical injury in many work environments – and are the biggest occurrence of injury in the print industry! Regular risk assessment of the requirements of these activities, and the delivery of correct training in procedure and method of performing them, is the direct responsibility of the employer. There are industry risk assessment tools available to help in the performance, understanding and recording of full and thorough risk assessment of all procedures within the workplace, and should be utilised by the appropriate staff responsible for these procedures.

Risk Reduction 

Risk assessment and reduction is far and away the better option than having to deal with accidents and their resulting injuries – prevention of the accidents in the first place should be the corporate aim! Simple aspects such as reducing weight loads, better organised workspaces and, importantly, proper, and appropriate staff training and education in the hazards and the prevention of accidents, how injuries occur, and the correct use of equipment and handling techniques will all help in the overall safety and wellbeing of all staff working in the print industry environment!

Choose Print2Demand

We are an all round UK book manufacturing and printing service. We work closely with publishers, self publishers and authors. We have a state of the art factory, complemented by our sales and marketing office in Westoning, Bedfordshire. We have invested in the very latest digital and litho printing technology, to integrate with a fully equipped craftsman bindery.  The conclusion of which means we are offering both softback and hardback books, to a very high standard of quality.