Best Practices to Ensure The Safety of Machine Operators

Best Practices to Ensure The Safety of Machine Operators

Employers and owners of mechanized plants, as well as the manufacturers of machinery and equipment, should follow organizational and technical best practices to ensure the safety of machine workers.

Best Practices for Protection against Falls

  • Guard floor holes in the machine shop where workers could accidentally fall.
  • Set up toe boards and guard rails around raised platforms.
  • Install guards around all tools and equipment where workers could fall onto or into.
  • Keep the machine shop floor dry and clean as far as possible.
  • Provide appropriate personal protective gear (PPE) to machine operators at no cost to them.

Best Practices for Protection against Electrocution  

  • Provide workers with proper training in electrical safety, including tagout/lockout procedures.
  • Create systems where the electrical machinery, power tools, and other electrical equipment are cut off from a power supply when not in use.
  • Provide insulated gloves and other PPE to workers at no cost to them.
  • Identify all possible workplace electrical hazards and label them clearly.

Best Practices for Protection against Struck-by-Objects

  • Train the machine and vehicle operators in safety procedures.
  • Design the workplace where machine operators are never positioned between a fixed and a moving object or between two moving objects.
  • Provide high-visibility clothing and work gloves and other PPE to workers operating near dangerous equipment or heavy objects.

Best Practices for Protection against Caught-Between/In Objects

  • Place clear warning signs and alarms for awareness in areas with moving parts and moving equipment.
  • Apply lockout and tagout procedures where machine guards have been temporarily taken off for some reason.
  • Provide safe uniform and PPE to workers so that they do not wear loose clothes that could get caught in a moving part.
  • Secure all machines to prevent them from tipping over.
  • Do not allow transport of any unstable loads in machine areas.
  • Reinforce the trenches to eliminate the risk of collapse.

Best Practices for General Machine Protection

  • Machine elements and components should have emergency stop functions.
  • Measures for energy dissipation and isolation should be put in place.
  • Measures for rescue and escape of trapped workers should be put in place.
  • Provisions for safe and easy handling of heavy machine components should be ensured.
  • Safe access to the machines should be provided for – workers should not have to step over anything consistently to get to the machine or inside the machine or have to duck their head to avoid injury on a consistent basis for the same intention (obtaining access to the machine), for instance.

Best Practices for Providing Risk Information

Risks for machine workers will exist even when safety measures are adopted by employers. The workers should be properly informed about these types of residual workplace risks:

  • On the machinery or equipment itself.
  • On the packaging.
  • In the manual and other documents.
  • Warning labels and signals outside the machine.

Dangerous machines should bear markings related to:

  • Clear identification.
  • Compliance with regulatory requirements for their safe use.
  • Written instructions or the machine handbook should contain the necessary information for safe installation, operation, adjustment, and maintenance of the equipment.
  • Safety measures to be adopted by the worker.
  • Pictograms and symbols related to warnings and safety information should be easily comprehensible to the workers (temporary or full time).

Safety of machine workers should be the first concern of a responsible employer. Investing in proper worker training and methods will go a long way in minimizing machine-related accidents and injuries.

Watch YouTube Video: Workplace Safety – Safety at Work – Tips on Workplace Safety. This animated video demonstrates how workplace accidents occurred and the common causes of workplace accidents.

Machine Accident Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a machine accident lawyer in Sacramento. Following best practices can help ensure the safety of machine workers. If you or someone you know has been hurt in the workplace, call me for a free consultation at 916-584-9355.

I’ve helped many Sacramento residents and other Northern Californians in receiving the compensation they need in wrongful death and personal injury cases.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates.

Photo by Tolea1 on Pixabay

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