Safety, Hygiene Create Happy, Productive Manufacturing Workers

Tork survey finds link between safe, clean, and orderly work environments, and the overall happiness of manufacturing employees.

There’s a distinct connection between safe, hygienic, and orderly work environments, and the overall happiness of manufacturing employees, according to a recent survey by Tork.

manufacturing employees
(Photo: Tork)

The survey conducted last month found a resounding majority of manufacturing employees identify operational efficiency (96%), safety and hygiene (94%), and organization of work environments (93%) as top enhancers of their happiness on the job. In fact, when it comes to positive influences on employee morale, the study concluded that efficiency, organization, safety, and hygiene rank considerably higher than other factors in a facility, such as advancements in technology and machinery (87%).

It is apparent that the conditions of manufacturing environments are uniquely important to employers and employees alike. In an industry that requires constant attention to minimize risk and improve compliance with safety regulations, a well-run, orderly facility helps plant managers ensure operations run smoothly and without setbacks. The research reveals that facility conditions are just as meaningful to an employee’s job performance as it is to their morale. Efficiency, safety, and hygiene not only boost employee productivity but also their overall happiness.

Manufacturing workers care about their employers’ efforts to maintain a clean and orderly floor as well as feeling that they have quality tools to perform their jobs efficiently.

According to the study:

  • 9 in 10 manufacturing employees believe quality on-the-job tools, such as cleaning products, impact their productivity (90%) along with their happiness (91%)
  • 71 percent of employees believe operational efficiency strongly impacts their productivity, 96 percent believe it boosts their happiness
  • 94 percent of employees find that a hygienic, healthy and risk-free work environment impacts their happiness (57% strongly agree)
  • 60 percent of workers find that organization of work environment strongly influences their productivity, and 93 percent find it affects their happiness

For plant managers and facility supervisors, improving hygiene and safety are critical for boosting employee morale in addition to facility efficiency. In fact, 87 percent of employees report that wiping and cleaning tools help them get the job done. Workers believe in the products they use day-to-day, proving that supplying the right tools will not only improve facility operations and safety measures, but also encourage a happier, motivated workforce.

“Happiness and productivity go hand-in-hand, particularly in fast-paced, high-risk environments like manufacturing,” said Maryellen Anastasio, Marketing Manager, Essity. “Facilities should consider the tools they are using and adopt safe and hygienic solutions that will not only improve operational efficiencies but also motivate and engage employees. By making these changes, employers are sending a message that they care about their workers’ happiness and well-being.”

Although 67 percent of manufacturing employees use rags for cleaning, task-based disposable wipers are a safer and more efficient solution for cleaning in industrial environments, according to Tork. Research found that Tork Wipers require up to 20 percent less effort, up to 23 percent less time, and up to 27 percent less solvent than rental towels or rags¹. While rental towels and rags often carry leftover chemicals or metal shavings, and are kept in disorganized piles around a facility, Tork Wipers take 80 percent less space and are free of unwanted residues, providing a safe solution for maintaining a clean and orderly workspace.

¹ Panel test conducted by Swerea Research Institute, Sweden, 2014.