In today’s world, heavy equipment is used across multiple industries, yet production machinery can also be dangerous, especially when handled without proper care. Lack of training or improper use can lead to minor or major accidents to people working on the jobsite. Although most new machines are fully integrated with data analytics, smart automation, and safety sensors, everyone should ensure that safety tips are kept in mind and implemented. Below are 7 safety tips for machinery operation:
1. Proper Training: Although most people tend to underestimate this point, it’s essential when it comes to machine operation. All employees working with company machines should have adequate training before they can even be given the job. This is because different machines have varying features and safety measures. You should always ensure your employees have the right training because machine accidents may lead to total disability and even death. The machine operation trainer should also ensure he or she assesses each operator’s skills and give the necessary recommendations.
2. Never Remove Machine Guards: Different machines have different kinds of machine guards. Machine guards are the devices that ensure the operator is well protected from accidents. They usually prevent things like sparks and debris from flying and injuring the operator. Additionally, the guards also protect the operator from getting closer to cutting tools, moving parts, and sharp edges. As a safety measure, these machine guards should never be removed unless the machine is undergoing some repairs or maintenance. The repairs or maintenance should only be undertaken when the machine is turned completely off, and only by authorized maintenance personnel.
3. Always Wear Protective Equipment: Although most machines have guards, it’s equally essential for the operator to wear personal safety equipment, which includes safety goggles, overalls, gloves, closed-toe shoes, hard hats, etc. When you’re operating machinery that can throw off debris or sparks, it’s essential to wear full wrap goggles to ensure your eyes are safe. When selecting gloves, ensure you look for a pair that perfectly fits your hands. Those who work on machines with sharp or pointed edges should consider getting cut resistant gloves to prevent hand injuries. Finally, workers should wear proper footwear such as gumboots to protect their feet from any falling or dropping objects.
4. Performing Regular Risk Assessments: It’s essential to regularly perform risk assessments for safety due to any faults involved in the machine. With the technological advancements today, it is relatively easy to carry out regular risk assessments with the use of CAD facilities. The importance of carrying out these assessments is that the risks can be easily identified and designed in order to make the machine safe. Other benefits include ensuring the proper installation and functionality of the machinery.
5. Fault Detection and Maintenance: It is essential to have timely machine maintenance schedules to maximize the machine’s performance and minimize the risk of hazards such as breakdowns, jams, overheating, dull blades, and blockages. To ensure increased safety, sensory devices can closely monitor performance and detect faults, including abnormal temperature changes, fluid leaks, and unusual vibrations.
6. Don’t Interfere with Moving Machinery: This is something worth repeating again and again. It’s advisable for machine operators to stay clear and focused when operating a machine. For even more safety, it’s always a rule that other workers shouldn’t enter machinery-use zones, in order to avoid distracting the machine operator. All moving parts should be properly handled, as they’re a primary reason why accidents occur in the workplace.
7. Installing Isolation Devices: Some accidents occur when a machine is being cleaned or is under maintenance. Therefore, to protect machine operators from injury, it’s essential to prevent any unexpected actuation, power reconnection, start-up, and even dissipation of the stored energy. Isolation devices help eliminate this risk and keep workers safe.
In conclusion, these are just a few tips for keeping safe when operating machinery on the worksite. There are certainly many others, and we’d like to hear from you — what are other tips for staying safe on the jobsite while operating heavy equipment? Let us know in the comments below.
Bailey Hudson is a freelance industrial writer working in collaboration with Summit Machine Tools.