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What Are the Safeguard Standards for Machinery?

Dangerous Industrial Plant Machinery

Every year, accidents and injuries 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 state 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 absolutely essential when dealing with these large, powerful tools. One small mistake can result in extreme injury including crushed or mangled body parts, deep cuts, burn wounds, and amputations, among other possibilities. This is why having proper training for all machinery is so important, because a person's life may be quickly put at stake. Please continue reading to learn more about the necessary standards of safety for machinery on works sites listed by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

Machine Safeguarding

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?

As stated, any machine that has the potential to injure must be safeguarded. This is generally in three different areas. First, the point of operation is the most dangerous area where a worker can be injured on the job. 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.

Requirements for Safeguards

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. 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.

Contact an industrial accident attorney at Arnold & Itkin to discuss your claim and create a plan of action suited for you.

Client's portion of total recovery may be subject to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement claims, Medicare/Medicaid liens or other third-party claims or liens. These verdicts and settlements are intended to be representative of cases handled by Arnold & Itkin, LLP. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims.

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