On April 23, a woman in Pennsylvania fell into a meat grinder while working at a food processing factory. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the deceased. While we do not yet know the details of what happened, we feel we should discuss the importance of machine guarding equipment.
In this post, keep in mind we are not placing the fault of this accident upon anyone. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating, and they will determine if there is any blame. We want to discuss a few machine safety tips and machine guarding methods, as required by OSHA, so others may avoid a similar tragic workplace accident.
Machine Guarding Equipment – Machine Safety Tips
Machine guarding’s purpose is to prevent workers from contacting parts of machinery that could crush, cut, burn, or otherwise severely injure or kill. Employers can implement several controls to help protect workers, and one of the main methods is to install machine guarding equipment.
For example, employers can install physical barriers between the worker and the hazard. These barriers can either remain constantly in place while preventing unintentional access to the machinery, such as fixed guards. Alternatively, some barriers, such as interlocking guards, can be opened to access the machine but only under specific conditions.
Additionally, employers can provide restraining devices to restrict how close an employee can approach a hazard if other guarding methods prove infeasible. Such devices include harnesses, pullback systems, and safety trip controls.
Lastly, employers may also provide aids to help keep workers from reaching into dangerous areas. These aids can include long-reaching tools to clear away debris without the worker approaching the machine.
Machine Guarding Training – Helps Decrease the Number of Machine Guarding Accidents
Employers must train all employees to understand how to safely use all provided protective equipment. At Safety Provisions and Hard Hat Training, we offer a Machine Guarding safety training for such a purpose. The training covers topics ranging from OSHA machine guarding training requirements to machine guarding equipment to safe operating practices to common hazards.
If you need a machine guarding training or any of our other heavy machinery trainings, contact us today.
Good luck and stay safe, please.