The manufacturing industry in Australia employs more than 1 million people, according to figures from Safe Work Australia. With such a large working force and a reliance on complicated machinery and equipment, the manufacturing sector is a high-risk industry for workplace injuries and accidents.

Employers in this industry paid 2.5 per cent of payroll in 2011-12 to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees.

Fortunately, there are a number of measures employers can take to improve the safety within their company and reduce the risks of injury.

These days, most modern machinery used in the manufacturing industry are developed with guard systems and failsafes to avoid entrapment or other accidents.

However, as technology advances, are the safety standards keeping pace?

Machinery operators who assume guarding will protect them as they attempt to work more efficiently may find themselves discovering a fault in the system the hard way.

Instead of relying solely on guards and failsafes on machinery, manufacturing companies should also take further steps to encourage safety in the workplace.

Ensuring all employers and staff understand the regulations and requirements of occupational health and safety laws is a good start to minimise the risk of accidents.

Additionally, keeping machinery and equipment well maintained and in good working order is recommended to ensure faults do not cause avoidable injuries.

Training and education on correct operating procedures is also a highly recommended measure to reduce the risk of injury. Making sure that those using the machinery are doing so correctly will decrease the chances of potentially serious mistakes.

While minimising risk of accidents should be a priority, you may want to make sure you are prepared in the event of an injury-causing accident by purchasing manufacturing insurance.

MGA Insurance works in conjunction with the South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA) and can provide access to both international and national insurance markets.