Safety Tip of the Week – Amputation Hazards in the Workplace

Amputation Hazards in the Workplace

Amputations are some of the most serious and debilitating workplace injuries. Amputations occur most often when workers operate unguarded or inadequately safeguarded mechanical power presses, power press brakes, powered and non-powered conveyors, printing presses, roll-forming and roll-bending machines, food slicers, meat grinders, meat-cutting band saws, drill presses, and milling machines as well as shears, grinders, and slitters.

Mechanical components present amputation hazards:

  • Point of operation—the area of a machine where it performs work on material.

  • Power-transmission apparatuses—flywheels, pulleys, belts, chains, couplings, spindles, cams, and gears in addition to connecting rods and other machine components that transmit energy.

  • Other moving parts—machine components that move during machine operation such as reciprocating, rotating, and transverse moving parts as well as auxiliary machine parts.

Amputation protection:

  • Machine safeguarding with the following equipment is the best way to control amputations caused by stationary machinery:
  • Guards provide physical barriers that prevent access to hazardous areas. They should be secure and strong. Workers should not be able to bypass, remove, or tamper with them. Guards should not obstruct the operator’s view or prevent employees from working.

  • Devices help prevent contact with points of operation and may replace or supplement guards. Devices can interrupt the normal cycle of the machine when the operator’s hands are at the point of operation, prevent the operator from reaching into the point of operation, or withdraw the operator’s hands if they approach the point of operation when the machine cycles. They must allow safe lubrication and maintenance and not create hazards or interfere with normal machine operation. In addition, they should be secure, tamper resistant, and durable.

Work practices, employee training, and administrative controls can help prevent and control amputation hazards. Remember to stay alert for hazards so you won’t become one more accident statistic. You can do a quality job without rushing. Maintain a positive attitude and keep your mind on your work. This is just common sense–something smart workers use!

“Always Keep Your ‘Guard’ Up… When Working With Powered Equipment” 


Download flyer: STOTW_19_Amputation Hazards in the Workplace.pdf (133.97 kb)

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