Safety in the workplace is a primary concern for businesses. The protection of employees creates a safer working environment and stabilizes the reputation of a business by avoidance of detrimental lawsuits. These can coincide with the loss of production to be financially devastating to a business.
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The first thing to understand when choosing the right solutions for machine guarding in the USA is that they should comply with the latest OSHA regulations.
These regulations state that one or more methods of machine guarding should be used in order to ensure protection for employees against all hazards. This includes dangers while using equipment or simply being in the radius when it malfunctions.
Why Fencing Should Be Your First Thought
An increasing number of workplaces are using automated systems to create the end product. This is not new, productions processes have been continually improved for decades. Today, there are many examples where specific parts of the job can be completed by robots without the need for human interference. In other scenarios, the employee must be present to operate the machine.
In both these situations, there is a risk of the machine malfunctioning. When this happens parts of the machine can fly off or the load that it is dealing with can be unbalanced and potentially unsafe. At this point, there is a risk to employees in the vicinity.
A business will need to choose the best option. Rapid fencing creates a safety barrier that can be quickly erected and protect different areas as needed. Alternatively, impact fencing ensures that should a heavy load slip it will not destroy the fencing and potentially injure an employee.
The decision will be based on what is being produced.
Machines that can be accessed and used by employees need individual safeguards. On a basic scale, this is a guard that prevents a hand from touching a spinning blade. Of course, the more complex the machine the greater the array of possibilities for harm.
Safeguards built into the machine should make it difficult for an operator to injure themselves while using the machine properly.
It should be noted most machines arrive with these safeguards. Pay attention to this if ordering new machinery. But, it is also possible to retrofit older machines and make them safer.
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for all employees. This is important to ensure they feel safe and can focus on doing their job properly.
However, it is important to note that all employees need to be aware of the risks at work and take sensible precautions to minimize them. This helps to avoid injuries occurring and emphasizes the fact that employees do bear some responsibility. Without this, there is little stopping an employee from purposely injuring themselves just to get a payout or damage the company’s reputation.
Every business should take employee safety seriously, and it starts by understanding the options when using automation guarding systems.