4 Common Machine Safety Infractions And How To Correct Them
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Hi I’m Lonnie Muse with Innovative IDM. I’ve been in plants for over 30 years, there’s a lot of things that happen in a plant that you just would not believe, you will see a lot of people that’s missing a finger for instance, and how did that happen? You see there are people who just don’t pay attention, but there are about 4 things that we are going to talk about that will help you reduce some of those injuries.
Number one: a lot of people don’t pay attention to pinch points on machines where I can get close and get my clothes or my fingers or my toes into a gear, a shear or anything else along that way. We need guarding on that. Guarding can come in the form of fencing, something to block people from getting to that point, or light curtains, or other opportunities for it to stop the machine so those pinch points won’t happen. We’ve got to pay attention to what’s around the machine so that it doesn’t hurt people, because we know that they are not going to pay attention. To give you an example, in a foundry where we were pouring aluminum into a mold, here’s a big vat with several thousand degrees of molten aluminum. Our robot dipped into the vat, pulled out the aluminum and headed down the line to a mold. One of the operators came out in front of the robot as it was running down the line, everybody’s screaming at him to get out of the way and he said well it will see me. Robots don’t have eyes. And he was lucky that the molten aluminum didn’t hit him because he wouldn’t have any eyes either at the end of that. People don’t pay attention, so we have to help and protect them.
In the rules today, machines are not required to have all the guarding and safety features necessary in the United States made by the manufactures and there are plenty that don’t. So, it’s up to the user to make sure their machines are guarded well and don’t hurt anyone and that’s by OSHAs standards.
Another issue is when you do get something close like an E stop and it doesn’t necessarily work, it doesn’t shut the machine down. It might stop, but does it stop in time? So E stops are important. Are they within reach where the operators are, are there pull switches where the operator can get a hold of them or someone close by where the material is that will stop the machine very quickly so they don’t get hurt. That’s one other place where a lot of safety is lacking.
The other is in protective equipment. On the electrical side what I’m talking about is PPE, Personal Protect Equipment. Face shields, nomex coveralls that won’t burn. If we look at NFPA70E, that’s arc flash, open up the panel and there’s an arc flash – if you’re not protected you will be awfully sorry you didn’t put something on to protect you that’s supplied by the owner of the company that the person works for. So protective equipment, glasses, ear plugs, all sorts of protection equipment. There’s electrical protection too. For instance, ground fault isolators in the panels. If you’re missing a ground and don’t have a ground fault, you could get people shocked.
The last one is really more of the management opportunities you have by properly reporting the incidences you have. OSHA requires that report. If you’re not following the OSHA rules then when the inspector comes in, for whatever reason, you could be in a little bit of trouble.
So, to recap there’s a lot of pinch points there not guarded, there’s stopping, E stops and pull stops that aren’t happening, don’t have the right equipment or there’s electrical equipment or there’s personal protection equipment, and we’re not reporting well.
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