They are for your safety and protection
Working with machinery and other heavy equipment is one of the top causes of manufacturing injuries. Thousands of workers each year suffer from amputations, lacerations, crushing injuries and abrasions, and some of those injuries result in death.
Despite the potential for serious harm, many workers still do not take machine hazards and machine guarding seriously. Often, machine guards thought to interfere with production are tampered with or removed by employees or unintentionally left off machines after repair work is done. In situations like these, employees are unnecessarily exposed to hazards that can severely injure or kill them.
What You Can Do
Be able to identify various machine guards and how they protect you and your co-workers.
Understand your role. For example, if you are a machine operator, it is your responsibility to know how guards work and how to keep them in good working condition. If you repair or maintain machinery, it is your responsibility to ensure the guard is securely back in place when your work is complete.
Know who is permitted to remove a safeguard and under what circumstances it is okay to remove it.
Contact your supervisor if a safeguard is damaged, missing, provides inadequate protection or is itself a hazard.
Be aware of the disciplinary actions that you may face as a result of tampering with or removing a safeguard, including not inspecting the machine before using it or not following machine safety procedures.
Have a safety-first attitude toward machinery and respect the work it does – as well as the injuries it can cause.
Make Safety a Priority
Machine guards are made for your protection, but your cooperation is needed to ensure that they work properly.
Always complete maintenance or repairs as scheduled, ensure guards are in place before using any machine, and let your supervisor know if you see an unsafe working condition.
Maintaining a safe work environment is a team effort, so do your part to ensure the safety of you and your co-workers.