The list of possible machinery-related injuries is long and bloody. In fact, every year around 18,000 workers who operate and maintain machinery suffer injuries, which include severed fingers and other limbs, crushed hands and arms, nasty cuts, and other injuries too horrible to mention.
It’s not surprising that OSHA has a nine-part standard on machinery and machine guarding (29 CFR 1910.211-219). The standard’s purpose is to protect machine operators and other employees in the work area from machine hazards by requiring, among other things, the use of effective machine guards and safety devices.
According to the regulations, machine safeguards have to meet six basic requirements. They must:
1) Prevent contact of hands, arms and/or any other part of a worker’s body with dangerous moving parts on the machine.
2) Be secured to the machine so that they can’t be easily removed or tampered with.
3) Be protected from falling objects. For example a small tool dropped into a cycling machine could easily become a. projectile that could strike and injure the operator or someone else.
4) Create no new hazards, such as shear points, jagged edges, or unfinished surfaces that could cause lacerations.
5) Let workers perform the work comfortably and efficiently, without interference.
6) Allow safe lubrication without removing the guard, if possible.
People vs. Machines
Take precautions to prevent amputations
Machines cut, shear, bend, punch, and have dangerous rotating parts and in-running nip points. Against all those hazards and all that power, what chance do your fingers, hands, arms, and legs have when you operate machinery?
The best chances you have to go home every day with all your fingers and toes are machine guards, safety devices, and safe work practices, which keep all your body parts safely out of reach of the danger.
Here are examples of workers who failed to take machine hazards seriously:
Don’t forget that amputations aren’t the only injuries associated with machinery. You could be badly burned or electrocuted, too. So keep your guard up, and stay safe. Don’t take risks with machinery.
Reference: Business & Legal Reports, Inc.