METALWORKING MACHINERY SAFETY:
Safety violations will continue to be a top priority for OSHA. This is especially true for companies that have had a previous accident. This is a huge deal because each year over 18,000 American workers are injured while using or doing maintenance on machinery. What kind of injuries? Amputations (cut off) of hand and fingers, crushed hands and fingers, abrasions, gouges, cuts, etc. Plus over 800 deaths! And these numbers have stopped declining. Why is this? Well, one reason is safety guarding. In 2016, 88 percent of machinery guarding citations were called "serious" and where the employer should have know that there was a substantial possibility of a worker being injured or killed. Machinery guarding standards are outlined by OSHA and ANSI (American National Standards Institute). They currently believe that half of all machine shops and fab shops currently have dangerously inadequate machinery guarding. Is your shop one of them?
an employee and avoid getting sued for huge sums of $! Because if an employee
is injured at shop, they might never return to work and they and their
family may be entitled to financial compensation.
Because Metalworking Machines can be very dangerous, which means they may cause injury or death if used carelessly or incorrectly: Buyers shall require employees to use all safety devices, guards and proper safe operating procedures as set forth in manuals and instruction sheets originally furnished by the manufacturer. Buyer shall not remove or modify any such device, guard or sign. It is Buyer's responsibility to provide all the means that may be necessary to effectively protect all their employees from serious bodily injury which otherwise may result from the method of particular use, operation, set-up or service of the equipment. It is Buyer's responsibility to provide to provide proper training to each employee using the machine or to use only employees that are sufficiently experienced in the use of such machine. It is the responsibility of Buyer to comply with any and all national and local codes including OSHA. If Buyer fails to comply with such provisions of this paragraph or the applicable standards or regulations aforementioned, Buyer shall indemnify and save AMERICAN MACHINE TOOLS COMPANY harmless from and against any and all claims, losses or damages arising there from. Those previous 2 sentences are very important to understand.
Because it is impossible for machinery suppliers to predict exactly how you are going to use the machine over the years, it is impossible for machinery suppliers to guard against every danger without ruining useful machine productivity, so you need to be responsible and take this seriously. OSHA reports that machinery users suffer 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries, and abrasions. OSHA also reports over 800 machinery users are killed per year. Only you - can prevent accidents.
Common Sense: Now that you have read all of the above, it is time to think about this from a practical standpoint. There is no substitiute for using common sense. No amount of time saving is worth the risk of cutting off a finger or worse. And that is what will eventually happen if you take dangerous shortcuts. Dont remove the safety guards before using the machine. If you do take one off for some reason, put it back before you use the machine. Dont let distractions, laziness, being in a hurry, or your ego, get you injured.
Be smart: Always be on the lookout for possible safety hazards. Watch out for pinch points where your finger could get crushed or severed. It is difficult to go through life without a finger. It is hard to turn handles, play sports, type, etc. Women will think it looks gross. Watch out for moving parts. You dont want to be too close if you lose your balance or bump into something that pulls you in. Keep hands, fingers, hair and loose clothing away from moving parts.
Knowledge: Please visit the OSHA Machinery Safety website by clicking on the link shown above. It is worth the time to brush up on the safety precautions OSHA expects from every machine owner. If you dont know how to use a machine you purchased, hire someone who does. If you cant to afford to hire someone to use the machine for you, then temporarily hire someone to train you on how to properly use the machine. Dont try to learn by yourself. It is best for machinery users to go through a Machine Tool Apprenticeship.
Safety Guards: Safety devices such as Light Curtains are strongly recommended to prevent fingers and hands from getting crushed especially for predictable repeat usesf you buy a Brake Press machine, OSHA wants you to install a light curtain guarding system on it. If you are going to use a machine for a repeat operation, OSHA prefers that you use dual palm buttons if they can be reasonably accommodated, OSHA also wants you to figure out extra safety guards to reduce the danger from pinch points of the machine that your repeat part does not pass thru. This can take the form of a plexiglass/Lexan guard, metal mesh guard or electric light curtain. Visit the OSHA website for more info.
Remember: People have died or had hands cut off from past mistakes that happen in the blink of an eye. Dont let that happen to you, coworkers or your employees.
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