Business equipment covers a wide range of items, but most common industrial settings have some powerful equipment that poses hazards. Proper training and preventive safety measures are important to minimize the risks. Here are four types of dangerous equipment and how you can protect your workforce.
1. Power Presses
These are normally hydraulic-powered machines designed for quickly cutting or shaping materials in the course of fabrication. Some large presses are capable of punching shapes out of 1/4" steel. Such forces can instantly destroy human hands. It’s crucial to have guards in place that prohibit reaching into dangerous areas.
Regular inspections to ensure the machines are mechanically and electrically sound are also important. Whenever your workforce needs to do repairs or inspections, be sure they unplug the machine beforehand. All employees should be trained regularly on proper safety standards when using power presses.
Nearly every shop or warehouse has a forklift. Some are quite massive, others more compact, but any forklift can cause damage if carelessly used. Impact from either the forks or the lift itself can be deadly, and dropping an unbalanced load could even be deadly for nearby employees.
Forklifts can also tip over if driven recklessly or when raising excessively heavy or unbalanced loads. Both the operator and anyone standing nearby could sustain serious injury. It’s essential that only properly trained and certified workers operate forklifts, and that speed limits and safe behavior are enforced. Any misuse by employees should be addressed immediately.
3. Conveyor Belts
These are common in factory settings as they provide an easy and automatic flow of goods. They can also be dangerous. Fingers, long hair, or loose clothing can get caught. Some conveyor belts have considerable mass and force. People have been injured trying to free up or force jammed conveyor belts, so convey the dangers to your employees.
Ensure that the edges of belts are guarded so that fingers won’t be caught, and that proper work attire is worn. Inspect belts for wear and damage. If a belt jams, turn off the power before fixing the problem. Only allow trained employees to attempt repairs.
Mobile and overhead cranes provide efficient means of lifting and moving heavy objects, such as loading and unloading flatbed trucks. Poorly used cranes can lead to safety risks like falling or swinging loads that can do serious harm to employees.
Operators should be well-trained and practiced in maintaining control of the load. It’s also important that the crane itself is properly maintained and designed correctly for its purpose. If you have any concerns about crane maintenance and repair, American Equipment Inc. or a similar company can offer professional guidance and services.
Unsafe working conditions lead to accidents that can cause serious injury, loss of production, and heavy fines or lawsuits. Be familiar with OSHA guidelines, and ensure that all equipment is properly designed and maintained.