What Are the Safeguard Standards for Machinery?
Employers Must Make Sure Machinery Is Safe for Workers to Use
Every year, accidents occur in industrial plants all over the world. The hazards in this field of work may include plant explosions and fires, toxic chemicals or other fumes, excessive noise exposure, and dangerous machinery. First and foremost, as a worker in an industrial plant, it is your employer's responsibility to establish a work environment that meets the stands of health and safety as explicitly stated by the U.S. government. When an employer fails to meet these standards the lives of workers, and the surrounding community in certain events, may be placed at risk.
It is important to realize that safety is essential when dealing with large, powerful tools. One small mistake can result in extreme injury, including crushed or mangled body parts, deep cuts, burn wounds, and amputations, among others. This is why having proper training for all machinery is so important, because people's lives are at stake.
This is likely one of the most highly stressed factors of creating a safe environment for workers on an industrial plant. Safeguarding is a way of protecting workers from the dangers that can be caused by machines. Whether the injuries are a crushed hand or blindness because of a flying object, any form of injury caused by machinery may be severe. Although it is your employer's responsibility to provide this safe workplace, the more you know, the safer you will hopefully be. Safeguards are used in order to prevent injuries from happening, whether by produced defect, user error, or accidental contact. It is a requirement by OSHA that all areas of a machine with the potential to create an injury are safeguarded.
What Areas Require Safeguarding?
According to OSHA, the requirements for these safeguards must be used as a means of protecting the workers from contact with the hazardous areas previous mentioned—whether stationary or moving. The safeguards must be secure, meaning that a worker cannot easily remove them, nor can they easily fall off. These safeguards should be able to withstand the daily tasks of the machine if they are properly secured. Next, they are used to prevent falling objects from hitting the machine. When used properly, the safeguard ought to ensure that nothing can fall onto the moving parts of the machine, which would then cause possible injury to the workers nearby.
Any machine that poses a risk must be safeguarded. This is generally in three different areas:
- First, the point of operation is the most dangerous area. This is the spot where the specific material is being worked on, cut, shaped, etc.
- Another dangerous area of a machine is where the energy is transmitted to the point of operation that is accomplishing the work. This would include any connecting rods, pulleys, belts, flywheels, cranks, chains, gears, camps, spindles, etc. that are used to transport energy.
- All other parts that are moving on the machine are a potential hazard. Anything that is in motion can be dangerous including rotating parts, reciprocating, transverse moving parts, and any feed mechanisms or auxiliary parts.
Though this may be an obvious factor, safeguards should not create their own hazards. If there is a jagged edge or a broken part, it defeats the purpose and therefore causes people to be at risk of injury. Another standard for a safeguard is that it does not interfere with the job the worker needs to perform, it should be something that helps the worker not fear injury while at the same time efficiently being able to get the job done. Finally, a safeguard should allow for easy machine lubrication when needed. For example, it may need a tune-up, oil maintenance, etc. and the safeguard should not act as a barrier to that.
Call Nationwide Industrial Accident Attorneys: (888) 493-1629
If you have been hurt on the job because a machine did not have safeguards, it is vital to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The industrial accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin has helped thousands of injured workers recover the compensation to pay off medical bills and secure their future. We have also won billions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Our track record demonstrates that we have the knowledge, skills, and experience to help you get the best possible results for your case.
Contact an industrial accident attorney who will fight for the recovery you need rather than the recovery you're offered. A consultation is free when you call (888) 493-1629.