Workers who have to operate heavy machinery always face a certain level of risk. For instance, an industrial lathe is a machine with quickly spinning parts that can become tangled in hair or clothes. Hydraulic presses exert an incredible amount of pressure as they create various parts and materials. Both of these can cause severe injuries for workers when they are used incorrectly.
To prevent this, manufacturers use a variety of different tactics to make these machines safer. Some risk will always exist, but it can be reduced. There are a few ways that they do this.
Using two-hand controls
One of the most common ways to keep workers safe is by equipping hydraulic presses and other devices with two-hand controls. This is done to prevent an accidental start. In many cases, the issue was that workers would accidentally leave one hand in the pressing area while starting the machine with the other hand. By using a two-button system, the worker has to remove both hands and thus cannot be injured when they turn on the press.
Using simple guard rails
In some cases, protection systems can be very simple, such as guard rails that are supposed to be used around molten metal or other hazardous materials. These rails are a form of a fall prevention device, in that they stop a fall from occurring in the first place. This means that workers do not usually wear harnesses or have other such devices to protect them. The guard rails are crucial and, if they are missing, workers could suffer a fatal fall.
Setting up safety standards
Finally, many workplaces will just have safety standards that employees have to follow. A dress code may be introduced that prohibits loose clothing or long hair, for instance, to prevent it from being caught in machines. It’s important for employers to spend time teaching their employees how to work safely and putting systems in place to make this possible.
Of course, even when safety is the goal, accidents are going to happen. Those who have suffered serious injuries need to know about all the legal options they have to seek workers’ compensation benefits.