Some of the most dangerous jobs are when people are working with machinery. The larger the machines are, the more dangerous they can be, and the operators of them need protecting from injuries, and sometimes from death. Safeguarding your machine operators is vital, and here are a few suggestions of the things you should do.
No one should be allowed to operate a machine if they have not had adequate training to do so safely. Anyone that has not been properly trained in the machinery they are to use can be a hazard to others as well as themselves. You should never just accept the fact that a new employee says they know how to operate a particular machine. If they tell you they have been trained and have experience with it, let them show you in controlled circumstances that they know what they are doing.
They also need to be trained in safety issues relating to the machinery they are using, so that they are not presenting any problems to the people working around them.
Guards and Safety Shields
Some people do not like having to use guards and safety shields as they feel it slows them down. However, it is much better to be slower and keep all your fingers. A drill press chip shield, for instance, is easily removed for tool changes, and will help to provide a safer working environment for your machine operators.
All machinery should be regularly serviced and if there is something that does not feel quite right, the machine should be stopped straight away. What appears to be something minor could in fact be a major problem that presents more dangers than normal to the machine operators. This is especially so in the case of machines that have rotating parts as if one breaks off, it could cause untold damage to the rest of the machine and the people around it.
It is also a good idea to have daily visual checks on each machine before it is turned on. This way a problem could be spotted that will save a bigger issue once the machine is operating. Regular checks on your machinery could prevent someone from sustaining serious injuries.
Ensure Breaks Are Taken
Someone who is tired will not work so effectively and could become a danger to themselves. Throughout the working day, machine operators should have breaks to freshen their mind and keep them alert. Just 10 minutes every couple of hours can make a big difference to their safety when working with machinery.
It is very important that you have safety and health measures in place where machinery is concerned. It is just as important that you ensure your employees comply with your safety policy, and failure to do so should be treated with the seriousness it deserves. Employees who do not follow safety procedure are not just endangering themselves, but other people too.
As machines get bigger and faster, they can also present more hazards. These few suggestions are just a start in keeping your machine operators safe, and really you should seek professional advice from safety experts to ensure your workers are not at risk.