Machinery plays a massive role in many workplaces. It helps companies be more productive, enabling lower consumer prices than if everything were done by hand.
Yet, there is a price to pay for that efficiency, and sometimes employees working with those machines pay it with their bodies. The moving parts of a machine can exact a brutal toll on the soft and squishy limbs of their human cohorts.
Hence employers must do all they can to prevent machines from coming into contact with people
Here are some of the things they can do:
- Define areas: Let’s say your workplace has a machine with a robotic arm that swings backward every 30 seconds. That is fine, but not if the machine backs onto the path to the canteen. Anyone in a hurry to get some lunch may forget to watch out for the flailing metal arm and find themselves eating hospital food for weeks. Employers need to keep people away from moving parts.
- Install infallible power cut-offs: It’s your turn to clean the machine. You flick the switch to kill the power, then decide to use the restroom before continuing. As you return and reach into the machine, it clunks into action and sucks in your arm. It turns out helpful Bob was walking past, saw no one there and turned it back on. There are several ways to prevent others from reactivating the power, and employers need to put them in place.
- Guards: Each machine needs barriers in place to prevent accidental contact. These prevent cuts, amputations, burns and manglings.
Despite these measures seeming obvious, workplace machinery injuries still happen frequently. If injured, you will need to understand how to claim workers’ compensation benefits.