Safety Tip of the Week – Working Safely with Machinery

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 1,100 workers in the United States were killed last year by contact with equipment or by being caught in running machinery.

Be Alert Working Around or Operating Machinery:

The point of operation: This is where the work of the machine takes place. It’s a place where no part of the body should be. The point of operation may also produce sparks or fragments that can fly toward the operator. Safety glasses are important for this type of work.

The power train: This is where energy is transferred
through moving parts like gears, shafts, belts, cables, hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders. Employees should report any missing guards to their supervisor before operating equipment. The law requires equipment to be turned off and locked out during any maintenance to prevent someone from turning it on unexpectedly.

Workers Should Recognize and Understand the Following When Working Around Machinery:

  • The location of machine guards and points of operation;
  • The purpose of color-coded machinery alerting workers to hazards and to help pinpoint missing guards;
  • The danger of pinch points and importance of guards on in-running rolls, belts, pulleys, chains, and sprockets;
  • Established lockout/tagout procedures;
  • That machines remain off while they are shut down for maintenance;
  • Electrical safety work practices developed by the company; and
  • The importance of keeping machinery clean to prevent equipment jams.

The surest way to safeguard worker hands and fingers is for everyone to stay alert when working around machinery or moving equipment, and to follow established company safety practices and use common sense.

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