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Here, Reece Safety outlines some of the ways to prevent harm and injury whilst working with or around machinery.

The safety of employees who work alongside potentially dangerous equipment and machinery each day, is paramount. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than 800 fatalities and 18,000 amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries or abrasions involving workers who operate and maintain machinery occur each year. This could be drastically reduced by following essential safety measures on a day-to-day basis.

Ensure your staff are properly trained

Correct training for new workers is critical to the safety of all employees; relevant refresher training should also be provided to maintain your team’s level of knowledge about safety procedures which apply to the specific equipment in use. It is important to ensure that everyone on the premises is confident in handling, shutting down and starting up their machine. This will help to keep them and others around them as safe as possible.

Hazard analysis and risk assessment are two key parts to the machine guarding process, which should be in place for each piece of machinery. Management should also ensure guards are in place prior to work beginning and continue to enforce their use after every shut down, as a key safety procedure.

Report any and all problems

Any issues with machinery should be reported to management and fixed before work on the equipment resumes. Even if the issue is small or can be easily overlooked, such as poor or damaged electrical connections or not replacing worn parts, it is important to act on a potential hazard before it becomes dangerous. By doing this, you are protecting other workers from potential harm as well as increasing the longevity of the machinery if it is being well maintained.

Complete lockout/tagout

One of the most important steps when completing work on machinery is the lockout/tagout procedure. This procedure has long been considered one of the safest ways to isolate equipment prior to maintenance work or repairs taking place. Comprising of eight stages, the procedure is integral for protecting employees and outside contractors from accidental re-energisation of equipment, and potential injury or fatalities.

For personal safety, OSHA requires a formal lockout/tagout programme to be in place to ensure that employees are working in a safe environment. An effective lockout/tagout routine should take place every time machinery requires maintenance or cleaning and has since developed into Lockout/Tagout/Tryout (LOTOTO) with emphasis on trying to restart the equipment; this tryout stage checks that the lockout/tagout procedure has been successful.

To ensure each lockout is completed successfully, invest in lockout tagout equipment from Reece Safety for your business. By implementing this procedure, the likelihood of accidental injuries or even fatalities occurring during maintenance or repair work on equipment is greatly minimised.

The LOTOTO process is implemented using eight steps:

1.       Detail procedures for equipment

2.       Shut down the equipment properly

3.       Equipment isolation

4.       Apply lockout devices

5.       Energy control

6.       Verify the lockout (tryout)

7.       Conduct required work

8.       Reactivate








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