Safety Tip of the Week – Working with Machinery Safely

 Working with Machinery Safely

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 up in running machinery. That’s 20% of all fatalities in the workplace. Over a thousand people killed in ways that could have been prevented.

The point of operation: That is where the work of the machine takes place. It’s where the pressing, cutting, punching, and boring 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: That is where energy is transferred through moving parts like gears, shafts, belts, cables, and hydraulic or pneumatic cylinders. No body parts should be in these areas either. Employees should report any missing guards to their supervisor before operating this 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;

  • When machines have been shut down for maintenance or to clear jams;

  • That machines remain off while they are shut down for maintenance;

  • Electrical safety work practices developed by the company;

  • The importance of keeping machinery clean to prevent equipment jams.

The surest way to safeguard workers’ 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.

Always Keep Your Guard Up…When Working With Powered Equipment!! 


Download flyer: STOTW_438_Working with Machinery Safely.pdf (236.32 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_438_WorkingwithMachinerySafely_esp.pdf (234.22 kb)

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