Machinery is often quick and sharp, so take a minute to be safety smart
What hazards can be created by power tools and machinery?
All injuries result from some combination of people, energy, and objects. When people unexpectedly come into contact with objects, and energy is present, the stage is set for an injury. We commonly refer to this as the “Injury Triangle”.
We can safely work on or around machinery or tools when precautions are in place to prevent inadvertent contact with moving or energized parts. Machines and tools are typically manufactured with protective guards that prevent dangerous exposures to gears, belts, shafts, cutting surfaces, or other energized components. But a guard is not a substitute for maintaining a keen awareness of the hazards that are presented by power tools and energized equipment.
A few rules to keep in mind:
- When performing equipment maintenance, avoid removing guards until the equipment has been de-energized and appropriately locked out.
- Replace guards while the equipment is still locked out.
- Don’t reach into or over rotating equipment while it is running.
- Make sure that guards provided with hand tools, such as guards on grinders, are secure before using the hand tool.
- While there may be limited circumstances where a tool guard needs to be removed, these require approval from your supervisor and careful consideration of the hazards this may create.
- Don’t wear loose or baggy clothing when working around machinery.
- Use tools as they were intended by the manufacturer.