We have talked about safety on machines in the past, but I wanted to make a top of mind awareness list for those who get on their equipment everyday, and may sometimes forget that even overnight things can happen to adversely affect the safety of a machine. It could be something as simple as a loose bolt, or it could be that someone else used the equipment and didn’t shut down properly. It could also be something as nasty as someone vandalizing the equipment while it sits empty on-site over night or over the weekend. Whatever the case may be, we need to make sure we are running through our safety checks every time we get back on the machine we are using. This is by no means meant to supplement the checklist your company or the manufacture have provided, just some things for top of mind awareness.
- Do the safeguards provided meet the minimum OSHA requirements?
- Do the safeguards prevent workers’ hands, arms, and other body parts from making contact with dangerous moving parts?
- Are the safeguards firmly secured and not easily removable?
- Do the safeguards ensure that no objects will fall into the moving parts?
- Do the safeguards permit safe, comfortable, and relatively easy operation of the machine?
- Can the machine be oiled without removing the safeguard?
- Is there a system for shutting down the machinery and locking/tagging out before safeguards are removed?
- Can the existing safeguards be improved?
- Is there a point-of-operation safeguard provided for the machine?
- Does it keep the operator’s hands, fingers, body out of the danger area?
- Is there evidence that the safeguards have been tampered with or removed?
- Could changes be made on the machine to eliminate the point-of-operation hazard entirely?
- Are there any unguarded gears, sprockets, pulleys, or flywheels on the apparatus?
- Are there any exposed belts or chain drives?
- Are there any exposed set screws, key ways, collars, etc.?
- Are starting and stopping controls within easy reach of the operator
- If there is more than one operator, are separate controls provided?
- Have appropriate measured been taken to safeguard workers against noise hazards?
- Have special guards, enclosures, or PPE been provided, where necessary to protect workers from exposure to harmful substances used in machine operation?
- Is the machine installed in accordance with National Fire Protection Association and National Electrical Code requirements?
- Are there loose conduit fittings?
- Is the machine properly grounded?
- Is the power supply correctly fused and protected?
- Do workers occasionally receive minor shocks while operating any of the machines?
- Do you have a lockout/tagout program employees are required to follow when repairing and servicing machines?
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