A metal fabrication facility presents many potential hazards in its workplace environment. In recent years, the rate of non-fatal injuries within the industry has significantly dropped, indicating both the use of safer equipment as well as the implementation of stricter safety regulations. One practice that has helped facilitate this decrease is the use of proper machine guarding and devices.
Methods of protecting against hazards include:
- Guards. Machine guards provide a barrier between the operator and the hazards of the machine, whether from a broken piece of metal that flies off or from the operator getting caught in the moving parts. Machine guards can be fixed, interlocked, adjustable, or self-adjusting. Fixed guards are the best method of guarding and are a permanent part of the machine.
- Devices. Along with guards, other safety devices can be used, such as pullbacks, restraints, safety controls, gates and presence sensing devices like lasers.
- Location or Distance. Hazards can also be protected against by the location or distance of the guards. The OSHA 0-10 table in 29 CFR 1910.217 lists the distances that guards should be positioned from the danger line in accordance with the required openings.
- Feeding Devices. The use of material feeding equipment can not only speed up the rate of production, but also reduces risks encountered when an operator is putting material into the machine by hand. Both feeding and material ejecting devices are available, either with semiautomatic or automatic operation, including robots.
- Miscellaneous Aids. Other safety accessories can also be added to your machine, such as awareness barriers like light curtains and transparent protective shields.
Implementing a mix of these protective measures will greatly increase the safety and health of the employees operating your machinery and in turn improve productivity and your overall bottom line.
Call JMT today for more information about what machine guards and machine safety devices you should be using at (855)773-7727.