The dangers of heavy machinery often seem clear to someone who is encountering the machine for the first time, but it’s all too easy to get complacent. When a company has been using the same machine for years or even decades, are workers still as aware of the dangers? Are employers willing to let safety regulations slide, never having experienced a problem before?

This can create a dangerous workplace environment if it happens. To prevent it, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Safeguards are there for a reason. Workers should never try to get around them. For instance, some machines have two buttons that must be pressed for activation, and this is done to ensure that a worker’s hands must be out of the way. Workers may be tempted to artificially secure one button down, though, so they only have to push one.
  • Someone should always watch a machine as long as moving parts are activated. This may mean staying by a machine for a few seconds or minutes even after turning it off.
  • Clothes and uniforms must be appropriate for the workplace. Loose clothes are never advisable.
  • Machine guards should always be left in place. The only time they should get removed is when the machine is turned off and unplugged, allowing maintenance crews to do repairs.
  • Workers should be encouraged to always ask questions or voice concerns. They should never guess or feel like they just have to figure it all out on their own.

Workers who do get injured while using machinery need to know all of their legal rights in the face of lost wages and medical bills.

Source: EHS Daily Advisor, “10 Rules for Machine Safety,” Chris Kilbourne, accessed March 02, 2018