Whether it’s in fabrication, assembly, or even packaging, machine operators play an important role in manufacturing. Of course, as the machines get faster and more powerful, the odds of an injury also increase. Enjoying a safe workday free from injury calls for showing these machines the respect they’re due. It also means understanding the potential risks and protocols that go with the machine you use. So, let’s jump in and look at some of the things you can do to stay safe and go home whole.
Safety gear can like punishment for showing up to work. It’s often uncomfortable and can inhibit movement even when adjusted correctly. Yet, the safety gear for any given machine is there for a good reason. That equipment protects your senses, your muscle and bone health, and even your ability to breathe.
You can almost always expect to wear hearing and eye protection, as well as a back support belt. Vision and hearing loss can cost you in quality of life or cost you a job. Back injuries can make it impossible to do any kind of physical labor. You may also be issued a respirator if you work with chemicals or paint. Wear this gear.
Every machine needs periodic maintenance. If you’re required to do this maintenance, follow the schedule as closely as possible. A well-maintained machine is far less likely to suffer from minor failures that require you to, for example, open the machine to unjam it. Well maintained machines are also less likely to suffer from more dangerous catastrophic failures.
While it’s not necessary and probably not desirable for you to show up in spandex, you should avoid any clothing that is too loose. Machines have a lot of moving parts. Even if most of those parts are on the inside of your machine, there is no upside to taking the chance. You may well come close to machines that have more moving parts on the outside.
The same goes for jewelry. As a general rule, you just shouldn’t wear it. It can get caught in the machinery or conduct electricity if there’s a short. If you’re married, consider getting a silicone ring for work. It won’t conduct electricity. Plus, it’s more likely to rip before dragging your hand into the works of a machine.
A safe workday for machine operators is based on straightforward precautions. Wear the safety gear issued for your machine. Do the required upkeep on your machine. Wear clothes that are sensible for your work environment.
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