Machinery in the workplace can be of great benefit if used correctly and safely. Heavy machinery completes many tasks in a timely manner, but these machines are also capable of causing great harm if you don’t know how to use them properly. Misusing heavy machinery leads to a variety of serious workplace injuries and fatalities.
Take a look at the man using the power saw below.
Do you find anything wrong with this picture?
The man in this picture is in imminent danger. His thumb is exposed to the saw and the saw itself is not level. The guard on the front of the blade is meant to protect him, but he has put himself in danger of serious injury by leaving his thumb exposed. This mistake could be from a lack of training, a poorly designed machine guard or a serious lapse in judgment.
Below we have outlined five workplace safety tips you and your employees should keep in mind for ensuring machine safety in the workplace and preventing injuries.
1) Always Have Proper Machine Guarding on Machines
Machine guarding protects employees from dangers such as rotating parts, flying chips and sparks. Some examples of guards include barrier guards, light curtains and two-hand operating devices. Guards should be affixed to a machine where possible and secured elsewhere if an attachment is not possible. The guarding device should be designed based on appropriate standards and constructed to prevent the operator from having any part of his body in the danger zone during the operating cycle.
2) Always Wear the Required Equipment
If your employees are operating heavy machinery or standing near an operating machine, they must wear the required safety equipment. This equipment is required for a reason and will protect them from any possible debris or flying objects created by the machine. Providing the proper equipment and ensuring your employees know when they are required to wear it is key to prevent workplace injuries.
3) Do Not Interfere with Moving or Operating Machinery
While heavy machinery is on and operating, do not interfere with it or the person who is operating it. Working with powerful machinery requires focus and it can be extremely dangerous for an operator to become distracted. It is also important to stay clear of moving parts, as making contact with moving machinery can cause serious injury or even death.
4) Never Operate Machinery Without First Having Proper Training
Powerful machinery in the workplace requires successful training in machine safety. A tutorial from someone who has experience working with a machine should be provided for all new employees. Operating machinery without the proper training puts that person as well as anyone around them at serious risk for injury or even death. These machines are powerful and can cause damage if not operated properly.
5) Stay Clear of Loading Zones While Machines are Unloading
Machines can be unpredictable at times. It is best to stay clear when a machine is unloading, especially if someone is on foot. The machine could malfunction or drop something causing serious injury.
Heavy machines are of great use in completing difficult tasks but are also capable of causing serious injuries. It is important for you to provide your employees with the proper equipment, protect your machines with guards, keep up-to-date on maintenance and provide the necessary training before any employee operates a machine for the first time.
Schedule a free consultation with an Arbill Safety Expert today to discuss additional ways we can help protect your employees and keep your workplace safe.
Have a Safe Day!