Being Safe Around Industrial Equipment

Caution tape

OSHA (the Occupational Protection Administration) requires all employers to provide safe tools and equipment for their employees, and that all devices are properly maintained. Nowhere is that more important than when using power transmission equipment and mechanical power transmission products in industrial manufacturing environments.

Common Safety Issues

Most mechanical hazards happen around power transmission equipment with moving parts. The aim of operation along with the point of power transmission are especially dangerous zones.

The aim of operation is the area of the machine that accomplishes the specified task. Obviously, anywhere near a saw blade or drill bit is dangerous, and points of operation often involve sharp objects. Watch out for lacerations and puncture wounds from flying materials or worn parts.

The point of power transmission will be the part of a gearbox where power is transferred through the motor to the point of operation. Pulleys, belts, and levers often serve as points of power transmission. These parts can crush limbs or become entangled in workers’ hair or clothing. Again, you’ll want to be especially wary of theses areas of machinery.

Personal Protective Equipment

Common Safety Equipment

The following PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) can increase safety when working around mechanical power transmission products.

1. When there is flying debris from moving parts like grinders, safety glasses are not enough. Head shields/masks should be used, and employers must offer hard hats, gas masks, and smoke hoods to help keep workers from getting hurt on the job.

2. Earplugs or Noise Reduction Headphones can reduce the risk of hearing loss related to consistent exposure to loud machinery.

3. Gloves is the most common piece of safety equipment, as they provide protection for workers working with hot and/or moving parts.

4. Breathing support equipment can prevent or reduce lung problems for those working where gaseous or airborne hazardous materials might be present.

Stop Sign with Hard Hat

Preventing and Minimizing Accidents

In addition to providing the proper safety equipment and performing routine maintenance such as gearbox repairs, there are numerous of security precautions a company can take in order to avoid and minimize on-the-job accidents.

1. Follow OSHA guidelines, which offer special requirements for power transmission equipment: “Any machine part, function, or process which might cause injury should be safeguarded. When the operation of an machine or accidental contact with it can injure the operator kinds in the vicinity, the hazard must either be controlled of eliminated.”

2. Use appropriate safeguards, including chip shields, rigid barriers, and protective panels. Additionally, OSHA necessitates that emergency stops be in the arm’s distance from the machine operator constantly.

3. Hire a specialist, independent, third-party to look into facilities and provides an objective look at your facility’s safety risks.

Industrial safety is serious business, specially when working with power transmission equipment.


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