Module 8b - Safety for machines and goods

 The value of machines
How valuable machines are, depends on the profession. There are big differences.

In transport and agriculture, you work with big machines worth up to many hundred thousand Euros.

In the artisan trades and construction, there are expensive and custom-made machines that can be damaged by improper use.

The most important question for the trainer is when the apprentice is ready to take responsibility for operation of machines or equipment.

It's a difficult situation, because the trainer has to justify giving great responsibility to someone who is inexperienced.

On the other hand, the young person needs to have challenges and gain experience!

Exercises for the apprentice
To give the apprentice a careful start with the expensive, rare or fragile equipment, some companies have facilites where the apprentice can practice in sheltered conditions.

  • Some large companies have their own apprentice shops. Here the apprentices make products for internal use in the company or for sale under favourable conditions. 
  • In the hairdressing trade, customers can have their hair done at apprentice prices, and apprentices can bring friends in.
  • In the transport sector, there can be special practice areas in a large terminal.
What do you do?
 Maintenance of machines
Thorough inspection and systematic maintenance is crucial for many machines and expensive equipment.

The company can have special procedures and practices, for example:
  • Fixed times for checking equipment
  • Fixed times for replacement of parts
  • Regular inspection
  • Regular controllers
  • Reports to be submitted
  • Forms to be filled
  • Procedures for reporting damages
  • Procedures for reparation of damages
Experienced colleagues can give an introduction to your apprentices.

Employees as well as apprentices have to be updated regularly on (new) rules for maintenance and safety precautions.

Your checklist
  1. Have you given a checklist for maintenance to your apprentice?
  2. In case of emergency: Is he/she informed of contacts, phone numbers, etc?
  3. Is the apprentice informed about: prevention damage / stopping damage / reporting damage / self-help or getting help?
  4. Have you delegated specific and clear tasks for maintaining machines to your apprentices?
In some trades, hygiene plays a decisive role, for example in the food production sector, social and health services, medical production or parts of the electronics trade.

Even if you, as an employee, don't have direct contact with the product or the persons that require extra hygiene, there can be rules that must be observed. This can be in your own company or with customers or suppliers.

There can be special headgear, shoes, frequent hand-washing, gloves or certain procedures that must be observed.
  • Explain this to the apprentice!
  • Observe the apprentice!
  • Correct the apprentice!
  • Check the apprentice after a period of time!
The correct handling of goods can be of vital importance.

Correct storage and securing not only increases shelf life and quality considerably, but also prevents destruction or accidents.

Basic rules that need to be observed are usually covered during training. Explain very specifically how it is done in your company:
  • How should goods be handled in your workplace?
  • Which precautions do you take?
  • Do you check whether goods are handled correctly?
 Quality consciousness for materials
As we hear now and then in the news, poor quality of materials or ingredients can harm the reputation of a company or a whole profession.

This is especially the case in food production, but also for materials for toys, machine components or textiles.

Train your apprentice in quality consciousness for raw materials:
  • Give insight into purchasing procedures!
  • Test the apprentice's critical faculty, by showing different qualities and letting him/her judge!
  • Inform of the trade's quality requirements!
  • Ask about the apprentice's own understanding of ethics concerning raw materials and ingredients, as well as the treatment of customers.

8 - Safety and working climate