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.
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.