Bruises, burns, severed fingers, crushed bones and blindness are only a few examples of the devastating effects machine accidents can have on their victims. But trying to surpass production quotas or working on "automatic pilot" often causes wo rkers to take shortcuts. All too frequently, these shortcuts can have life threatening results
As with most potentially hazardous situations, however, there are some steps you can take to prevent machine-related accidents and the often grotesque and unthinkable injuries that can result. Quite simply, as a supervisor concerned with the well-being of your staff, it is important to remember that any machine part, function or process which could cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine, or accidental contact with it can injure the operator or others in the area, the hazards must be either controlled or eliminated altogether.
Unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all cure exists for machine hazards. Consider the wide variety of mechanical motions that present hazards: rotating parts, reciprocating arms, moving belts, meshing gears, cutting teeth and other parts that impact or shear. It's easy to see why no single type of safeguard can protect workers in all operations.
In choosing safeguarding methods, keep the following rules of thumb in mind:
It must be secure. Workers should not be able to easily remove or tamper with the safeguard. Guards and safety devices should be made of durable material able to withstand the conditions of normal use.
The safeguard should ensure that no objects can fall into moving parts.
It should not create additional hazards.
A safeguard should not create interference.
Safeguards should allow safe lubrication.