The manufacturing industry is unique in that it directly impacts the majority of other businesses. Supply and demand relies on the production of parts and products. As a result, a prosperous manufacturing industry is crucial for a thriving economy.
However, while every manufacturing business aims to create quality goods at competitive prices, their main priority isn’t actually production itself: it’s worker safety that ensures smooth production processes and happy employees.
Nearly 13,500,000 manufacturing workers are at risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries, so needless to say safety is one of the top priorities in manufacturing.
By incorporating digital signage in manufacturing facilities, managers can ensure their hard-to reach employees are educated, informed, and aware of safety protocols and practices. This can help keep incidents down and provide a safe environment for manufacturing’s number one asset – its workers.
Digital signage in manufacturing is an effective tool for reducing accidents and improving overall safety.
Why is it Difficult to Ensure Safety in Manufacturing?
Unlike most workplaces, manufacturing and production facilities deal with hazardous chemicals, heavy machinery, and potentially dangerous equipment.
As a result, the manufacturing industry provides more opportunities for work-related accidents than average businesses. Manufacturing plants have a higher risk for incidents with both people and production, such as exposure to gas leaks and toxic fumes, toxic airborne particles, machine malfunctions and breakdowns, and spills and slip hazards.
When any of these incidents occurs, it can be extremely costly for the company. In fact, American companies pay more than $170 billion per year for workplace injuries.
Not only is there the expense of medical bills and finding temporary replacements for workers who may need time to recover from an accident. There is also the cost of cleaning hazardous materials, repairing machinery, and loss of productivity while work areas are shut down for maintenance.
Manufacturing incidents can occur for various reasons: there could be inaccurate data, missing or expired information, or a lack of focus on safety issues.
But what all of the potential causes have in common is production floor communication gaps.
Unlike other industries where workers are stationary at their desks throughout the day, production facility field technicians, sales executives, logistics personnel, and staff are rarely at a desk. This means they have minimal access to email and phone calls, thus limited access to important company communications.
Not only does this pose a challenge for making sure everyone feels part of the organization. It also makes it difficult to keep everyone up-to-date with news, timely updates, and safety procedures. All of this makes it challenging to ensure a safe environment in a manufacturing facility.
How Digital Signage Reaches Hard-to-Catch Employees
There are many reasons why an employee may miss important safety-related information. Digital signage can deliver essential material to manufacturing workers, who typically fall into one of three categories:
- On-the-Goers: These workers are constantly on the move, juggling multiple responsibilities and reporting to several areas within the company. Digital signage can provide organized messages that catch the eye of these individuals, especially when presented in simple, bold text.
- Time-Starved Workers: These people don’t have time to read emails or check news boards, so digital signage can bring messages to where they are spending their time. Screens mounted in work areas, break rooms, or elevators deliver important messages that can be seen by even the busiest of employees.
- Information Avoiders: Some people prefer to avoid information entirely, especially if it doesn’t seem to relate to their role in the company. They may have an intimidating manager they’re trying to dodge, or feel self-conscious about a cultural difference they may possess. Either way, digital signage in manufacturing provides easy access to up-to-date information even to the people who duck other communications.
Digital signs have been a game changer for the way Rexel reaches their employees. Rexel’s WMS Tactical Board Manager, Thomas Grüner, said, “Probably the best thing is that when employees walk across the warehouse, they simply can’t avoid seeing those reports. This has absolutely had a huge effect on our productivity and the quality of our work!”
Regardless of whether job responsibilities keep workers offline or they simply avoid the information you typically provide access to, digital signage is an effective way to reach your staff and help them feel more connected to the company as a whole.
Benefits of Digital Signage in Manufacturing
Essentially, workplace digital signage solves two main problems for non-desk employees, both of which are linked to ensuring safety by bridging crucial communication gaps:
- Digital signage enables more timely workplace communications for all employees alike: Digital signage serves as a primary communications channel to non-desk employees and a secondary channel for white-collar employees, allowing everyone access to same information on a timely manner.
- Digital signage increases data transparency across all functions: When digital signage is linked with business intelligence tools like MS Power BI, Qlick View, or even Excel, it help companies automate business insights in production facilities, construction sites, logistic centers, and office.
In addition, digital signage offers numerous other benefits in manufacturing that all can support safety and productivity in many – sometimes surprising – ways:
- Digital signage is an effective way to share HR information, general company communications, and company announcements. This helps workers feel more engaged with your organization, which leads to more employee buy-in and loyalty on a daily basis.
- It’s also a great way to present KPI reporting, which can increase team cohesion and give employees an enhanced feeling of responsibility and ownership, which supports safety and productivity.
- This communication is also a channel to provide employees with real-time data from critical business apps, which leads to better accuracy and transparency.
All of this can also help improve employee productivity and supply chain efficiency.
But quite possibly the greatest benefit to digital signage in manufacturing is its ability to help decrease accidents, improve safety in manufacturing and construction sites, and lower the risk of work-related accidents.
And it can do all of this while improving production quality and accuracy.
By reducing incidents and helping to establish a safer environment for employees, digital signage can help save your company money, increase worker retention, and set your organization as a leader in your industry.
All of this is good for your bottom line.
3 Ways to Use Digital Signage to Improve Manufacturing and Construction Sites’ Safety Records
As we’ve seen, digital signage can provide a wealth of valuable information to the places where your employees are working throughout your facility. Here are three main ways to use this tool to help reduce incidents and increase safety for your organization.
1. Improve Workplace Health and Safety
Digital signs can provide safety information for employees, warning them of potential danger and bringing attention to hazardous surroundings. By maintaining constant safety awareness, people are able to take the necessary steps to avoid issue. These signs can also broadcast health and safety policies, so everyone knows proper procedures.
Additionally, digital signs are a great way to communicate:
- Emergency alerts: if there is an emergency, employees can learn about it regardless of where they are in the facility. Emergency alerts on digital signs alert workers to a problem and provide crucial information about what next steps to take.
- COVID information: these details are constantly changing, so having access to current, accurate information is helpful in the prevention of outbreaks that could bring productivity to a halt.
- Days without incident counter: let staff know how safety measures are working by broadcasting how long it’s been since the last incident. This helps to encourage staff and maintain motivation.
2. Improve Overall Product Quality, Process, and Procedure
Digital signage is an effective channel for distributing information about production notifications.
This helps improve transparency across multiple departments so that everyone can work together toward the same goal. This kind of precision in communication reduces information gaps which helps to ensure everyone has access to the same accurate, up-to-date information and therefore is on the same page.
This helps to reduce the number of accidents and creates an environment where people feel safe to work. As a result, you’ll experience higher employee retention and better health and safety ratings for your workers.
Rexel’s Grüner stated, “Having just one centralized data source for all critical data makes daily operations simpler and less prone to errors, since employees don’t have to manually check various systems anymore.”
Read how Rexel reduced errors in logistics centers with Valotalive Digital Signage.
3. General Guidance and Site Information
Manufacturing facilities can be a confusing place for people who are not used to navigating them. This is why digital signs aren’t just a benefit to your workers – they’re a great help for guests who visit your facility.
By guiding your visitors through your building, you can help people avoid danger and keep them from accessing areas with higher risk.
Signs can also provide general information about your work site, like what kind of work is being done in those areas and who to contact in case of an issue.
All of this information helps keep everyone safe and ensures your facility and operations continue to run smoothly.
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Communication and safety are global concerns in the manufacturing industry. Valotalive provides manufacturing and production companies with easy-to-use digital signage software that improves workplace communication.
Trusted by enterprise and startup companies in over 50 countries, our award-winning software allows you to integrate with tools you’re already using and create custom content in minutes. Our service scales as you grow to ensure potential success at any stage.
Reach your employees with important information that helps to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.
Learn more about Valotalive and start a free trial today.