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Machine Safety

Machines Can Be Hazardous when misused, Always use Caution around Machines

Any machine part, function, or process that might cause injury must be safeguarded. When the operation of a machine or accidental contact with it could injure the operator or others in the vicinity, the hazards must be either controlled or eliminated.

Mechanical Hazards Can Occur While Using Machinery

Dangerous moving parts in three basic areas require safeguarding:

The point of operation: that point where work is performed on the material, such as cutting, shaping, boring, or forming of stock.

Power transmission apparatus: all components of the mechanical system that transmit energy to the part of the machine performing the work. These components include flywheels, pulleys, belts, connecting rods, couplings, cams, spindles, chains, cranks, and gears.

Other moving parts: all parts of the machine that move while the machine is working. These may include reciprocating, rotating, and transverse moving parts, as well as feed mechanisms and auxiliary parts of the machine.


Hazardous Mechanical Motions and Actions

A wide variety of mechanical motions and actions may present hazards to the operator. These can include the movement of rotating members, reciprocating arms, moving belts, meshing gears, cutting teeth, and any parts that impact or shear. These different types of hazardous mechanical motions and actions are basic in varying combinations to nearly all machines, and recognizing them is the first step toward protecting operators from the danger they present.

These basic types of mechanical motion generated by machines are considered hazardous:

Motions - rotating, reciprocating, transversing.

Actions - cutting, punching, shearing, bending.
These Minimum Safeguards Should Be Taken When Operating Machines

Use and secure safeguards: Operators should not be able to easily remove or tamper with the safeguard, because a safeguard that can easily be made ineffective is no safeguard at all. Guards and safety devices should be made of durable material that will withstand the conditions of normal use. They must be firmly secured to the machine.

Prevent contact with moving parts: The safeguard must prevent hands, arms, and any other part of a operator's body from making contact with dangerous moving parts. A good safeguarding system eliminates the possibility of the operator or another worker placing parts of their bodies near hazardous moving parts.

Protect from falling objects: The safeguard should ensure that no objects can fall into moving parts. A small tool dropped into a cycling machine could easily become a projectile that could strike and injure someone.

Allow safe cleaning & lubrication: Whenever possible, workers should be able to clean & lubricate the machine without removing the safeguards. Locating oil reservoirs outside the guard, with a line leading to the lubrication point, will reduce the need for the operator or maintenance operator to enter the hazardous area.