In any manufacturing facility, there are far more legal issues than most people can imagine. From making sure workers have safe conditions to ensuring products meet various standards and regulations, these and other issues must be dealt with on a daily basis. Because of this, it is vital a facility’s managers and executives know all they can about the legal aspects of running the business. To help with this, here are some of the most important legal areas pertaining to manufacturing and production.
Perhaps more than anything, manufacturing facilities must take workplace safety into account on a daily basis. Otherwise, significant legal challenges can result, such as criminal penalties, fines, and lawsuits. To deal with this area, facilities should pay close attention to OSHA regulations, provide workers with protective equipment such as goggles, and offer protection from fire and chemical hazards.
Since all types of products are made in manufacturing and production facilities, it can be easy for mistakes to be made that can lead to legal problems. One of the biggest involves using faulty equipment, which can result in not only workers being injured, but also in products being manufactured incorrectly. When this occurs, product liability issues may result. To prevent this, companies should inspect equipment regularly to verify seals and other parts are in place and working correctly.
Something relatively new to manufacturing and production facilities, data breaches are quickly becoming an area of great legal concern for many industrial companies. When these breaches occur, the result can be the loss of customer information, product designs, and other types of sensitive information. In recent years, ransomware attacks have also escalated, giving companies that may be weak on cybersecurity even more to worry about on a daily basis. To cope with this, more and more companies are not only updating software and enhancing cybersecurity, but also learning more about how today’s laws can apply to such situations.
Human Resources Violations
Like any other type of business, manufacturers may at times commit human resources violations. These can range from complaints of pay inequality between male and female workers, sexual harassment allegations, and even hiring part-time workers in order to avoid having to provide health insurance to employees. Whatever the case may be, a company’s human resources department must always be aware of existing laws as well as changes that will be upcoming. Should an employee make allegations against the company, it is the responsibility of the HR department to help them file complaints through the proper channels.
As mentioned earlier, product liability issues can wreak havoc within manufacturing and production facilities. Unfortunately, even if a product is manufactured correctly and is deemed safe to use, a person can still file a lawsuit against a company even when the product has been used in an incorrect manner. Since these types of lawsuits can take tremendous amounts of time and money to defend against, companies should make proper manufacturing practices their top priority.
Though there will always be legal challenges awaiting manufacturing and production facilities, knowing what they are and how to defend against them can make a real difference in how the situation is ultimately resolved. By working closely with the HR department and legal experts, facilities can overcome the toughest of challenges.